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To the Editor:
This letter is in reference to the story titled: “Teachers, school board agreed to two-year deal.”

Some great ideas have been lost by local school administrators. One idea which is taught in any doctoral class in finance is that every dollar saved and spent wisely can be spent on kids. A second idea is that taxpayers are served well when school monies are spent judiciously.

Whether a school district loses a levy vote by one or 500 votes, those who pay the bills are telling the board, “you’re writing checks you can’t afford.” Since the 70s, school administrators haven’t gotten the message. Example: This administration had a chance to bring healthcare costs for taxpayers into real life. As financial planners how much money would be saved annually and over five years if the school board had offered a marketplace health care plan for the district? Even a marketplace plan would have been more reasonable for kids and taxpayers than this golden contract. This administration believes it did a favor to taxpayers because “teachers who were already employed…did not pay anything” previous to this contract. With this kind of financial history they think it’s a mystery why voters reject school levies. Well of course, tell taxpayers and seniors paying for Medicare and supplemental insurance and people with no insurance to pay the bill. Typical plan is to tell the kids and parents they’re going to cut kids’ programs and ask for a levy. Great contract for teachers, but not financially realistic for kids.

Across America, Fortune 500 companies and school boards are raising deductibles and copays and out-of-pocket expenses and even eliminating coverage to employees to save thousands, even millions of dollars over a 1-5 year span. $100 a month for family insurance is a gold plated plan that is unaffordable anywhere! This administration even gave employees with 13 or more years of experience a $600 payment to help pay for coverage. $600 a year for family coverage is unheard of among financially sound businesses. Accountants, local businesses and many school boards know healthcare costs are outstripping inflation by double digits. If boards want to cut costs, start with real life cuts for benefits the district can’t afford.

I care about kids and I learned years ago every dollar saved is a dollar to spend on kids. Taxpayers want their money to go to kids and not the same failed financial decisions that got schools into revenue trouble. It won’t take long for the next tax ballot or an announcement saying the administration is cutting costs by cutting kids’ services. I will vote for a levy when I see an administration that works for kids and taxpayers.

Jerry Owens
Kensington, OH

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