To the Editor: BG board should live within its budget
Written by John Chapman   
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 09:58
The Bowling Green Board of Education has placed a large property tax increase before the voters for May 7th.
Make no mistake, we have a fine school system that is the foundation for our fine community.
The question is whether we should ask the board to live within their current budget, or if we believe they have made the case for additional funding.
Let's examine the facts:
Could the core of our spending problem be in the number of highly paid personnel? In 2007, there were six highly paid (over $80,000/year) staff and faculty members.  In 2009 there were 40. In 2011, there were 80.
Just think about this. The Great Recession hit in late 2007/early 2008. At that time, we had six people making over $80,000 per year. Then over the course of the Great Recession, while people at BGSU and in the private sector were getting no pay raises, or getting laid off, our district was handing out huge pay raises.
Hence, the number of highly paid personnel increased 13 fold.
Is that a funding problem, or a spending problem?
In 2011 we paid our superintendent over $150,000, plus picked up the employee share of his retirement plan.
The Perrysburg School District is over 50% larger than our district, but they paid their superintendent $127,000.
Last year we paid out $424,000 for cashed in sick leave. This is a merely a perk, granted by the school board that provides zero value to our community's children.
In fact, even if retirees have used all their sick days, the Board still provides them with healthy retirement bonuses.
Let's ask the Board to discontinue such perks before they ask for $4.4M more per year in funding.
John Chapman
Bowling Green
 

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