|To the Editor: BG school board: We have a funding problem|
|Written by The Bowling Green Board of Education|
|Wednesday, 23 January 2013 10:14|
Some "facts" were recently printed (in a letter to the editor) about the Bowling Green School District that were misleading. These so-called facts suggested the BG Schools have a spending problem, not a funding problem. We present the following information to set the record straight.
The expenditure by the BG School District for the 2010-2011 school year was $10,260 per student, about average in Ohio. The writer compared the total cost of educating a child to tuition at St Aloysius and the BG Christian Academy, which is a false comparison. Tuition does not cover every cost per child. Religious education has different standards from public education, different funding sources, and operates with far fewer governmental mandates.
While inflation has continued to rise, schools have reduced expenses significantly: 48.5 full-time staff positions were eliminated (all through attrition), three buildings were closed with one more to be closed in June, three buildings were sold, and supply budgets were reduced. Teachers and staff have had 0% base salary increases for two years.
The starting salary for a teacher with a BA is $33,036. For comparison, postings in a recent Blade showed that where salaries are listed, only one (a breakfast cook) offered less than $33,000. Teachers are highly trained professionals who work very hard. They are not overpaid. Teachers are paid only for the actual days they work, not for holidays or summer vacations.
An unfair example of retirement compensation said that one could retire with 100% of their salary. Theoretically that is possible, but rare: the person would have had to work over 46 years. PERS and STRS set retirement rules, not this school district. Annual increases in retirement benefits and health care costs are determined by the state of Ohio through STRS and PERS.
Teaching is a high-level profession. 84% of our teachers have a master's degree or higher. None of them are being overpaid when compared to their peers in the private sector. Bowling Green hires top-notch teachers and holds them accountable. They deserve the salaries they receive.
The more you know about the BG School District, the more pride you will have in what is being accomplished even with the loss of $2.4 million in funding over the last three years. We don't have a spending problem, we have a funding problem.
The Bowling Green Board of Education
Ellen Scholl, President
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