Fear of School District Consolidation

The day after the mid-term elections, a co-worker (who resides in Ottawa Hills) and I were discussing the "what-ifs" would occur if Governor-elect Kasich got his wish granted with the Ohio Assembly (consolidating school districts to save money). My co-worker bluntly stated it wasn't going to happen. I asked her why. She then showed me an email response from her school superintendent (Kevin Miller), stating that as long as he was Superintendent of Ottawa Hills he wouldn't allow consolidation to happen (gee, isn't that what Gov. Faubus said too?). Curious as to how a superintendent can state something so reckless...

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school districts were consolidated, anyhow? Wouldn't that also mean a lot of teaching as well as support staff, getting the axe? By "consolidated", aren't we really talking about funds being transferred, or better yet, being redistributed within various school systems? IMO this another end run around the last election.

Why can't the existing school systems just cut costs?

We know the answer to that one already, don't we? Consolidation would keep the unionized, elite labor that is hard as fuck to get rid of, and drops the sad sacks like support staff who aren't in the unions.

I bet that in any such consolidation, most if not all administrators will keep their paycheck-collecting jobs.

I must state now that I'm not against consolidation. But I am against it if it's being used to keep the same Unionists, Socialists and Communists swimming in the public honey.

I have to ask when school consolidation has ever saved money?
The fact that governor-elect Kasich would even propose such a thing make me question his knowledge of history.

In the middle of the 20th century, many smaller districts were merged into larger districts. The proponents of such things claimed that it would save money because less administrators would be required per student. It didn't work out that way though. In fact, the largest district in the area also happens to have the highest administration cost per student.

There are many ways that school systems could cooperate without actual consolidation. I have suggested on a number of occasions that we could create a regional transportation authority responsible for getting students to school. Perhaps that is would a natural extension of TARTA - I can hear the howls now.

What about food service, purchasing, building maintenance. IT services and the list goes on.

The problem is always about being the small guy or the one with money but not the population to control the purse strings through election of those leaders that make the money decisions. Most suburbs will see this as a grab for money while saddling them with an inefficient urban system. I can understand their concerns.

But the new way of life means they need to make dollars go further. Fiscal crises like we are having now can be a "sky is falling" event or an opportunity to look at operations
and do some sensible pruning so that the whole system can be more effective at its mission of educating all of our children. Perhaps ideas such as those presented can see the light of day instead of the back of the closet where ideas that are not from the educational bureaucracy brain trust go to die.

If TPS had over 50,000 students in the '60's and now we only have just over 25,000 - wouldnt it just make sense to consolidate and eliminate half the schools?

but now we have TWICE the employees we had in the 60's.... I'd be interested in Sflagg's take on that?

Billy, we're talking about DISTRICT consolidation, not school consolidation (i.e. Ottawa Hills, Washington Local, et. al. absorbed into TPS).

Until the lion writes his own story, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter (African proverb)

thanks for the correction

fyi, it'll never happen.

Billy, I think it will. And the only way for those districts to avoid it is to refuse state funding and tax the hell out of their property owners.

Until the lion writes his own story, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter (African proverb)

when Toledo annexed the village of Trilby they agreed that the city of toledo would get their tax dollars and in return Trilby would get toledo water and sewer and what not, but deal breaker was whether or not Trilby got to keep their school system - washington local.

I just dont think they can renig on something like that when it was part of the original agreement.

You folks are actually, and off the cuff, proposing consolidation of the ruinous failure of the TPS with a district like Washington Local? You do know people specifically bought houses at specifically higher prices just to make sure their kids were in the WL district, right?

Anyone who tries to add WL to the failing TPS just to shore it up, might actually end up shot. I won't be doing the shooting, but I do know a few folks who might. LOL!

More seriously now, everyone knows that TPS is the problem and it can't be fixed by pouring more money into it, especially grabbing the funding of other districts which have been fairly successful. In my mind, this is a bit like the Toledo Metro PD that has been proposed. The TMPD proposal was aimed at sharing costs, but ultimately putting police control in the top corner office of Govt Center (i.e. Carty). So the affected agencies crushed the proposal. And they crushed it deader than a doornail. I'm thinking that the same reaction would apply when the TPS crooks came after the funding of neighbor districts.

Today, the best solution remains the same, as ever: The TPS must reduce costs. Money isn't some magically-created substance that cajoling can make appear when you're fiscally irresponsible. I look forward to the day when do-nothing administrators are summarily shown the door, as their $90K+ jobs become officially defunct, to match the unofficial status of the past years.

Does this proposal include Sylvania Public Schools as well? How exactly does this improve the situation for Sylvania, Ottawa Hills and WL? Maybe they should refuse government funding, just like Hillsdale College does.

There may be something in history as to why Ottawa Hills is a seperate "city" totally enclosed within the borders of Toledo.

Does anyone know why Ottawa Hills has not been annexed by Toledo the same way Toledo annexed parts of other townships? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Ref: http://toledotalk.com/cgi-bin/tt.pl/article/42725

It would seem to me that, if Toledo and TPS want more money, Ottawa hills has it. And Toledo voters outnumber Ottawa Hills, so a ballot initiative of some kind would easily pass.

It worked for COSI and funding the new ice arena.

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a
socialist.

According to the wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottawa_Hills,_Ohio) on the topic, the Ottawa Hills development zone lost 35% of the original 4.6 sq-km to annexations, since 1915. I don't know what's impeding a wholesale annexation. I'm sure the median household income being $117K there (compared to Toledo's $35K) means that those folks can very well afford to resist takeover attempts.

The scuttlebutt on the inter-tubes suggests that annexation generally takes place on unincorporated land. Ottawa Hills is already incorporated. In any event, Ohio cities are limited by state law in how much land they can annex anyway. And finally, an outright annexation of a municipality seems to involve a vote within the municipality in question. The latter means that Ottawa Hills will never, ever be annexed or merged with Toledo... they will never, ever vote to allow it, and that's a vote that Toledoans cannot partake of.

This slideshow goes into more detail, but pretty much sums it up as the lesser municipality must first agree to the annexation:

http://www.fultoncountyoh.com/elected_officials/county_commissioners/pdf...

The reason Toledo can't annex Ottawa Hills (or the City of Sylvania, Oregon, or Maumee) is that it is an INCORPORATED VILLAGE. That is specifically why Oregon Township voted to incorporate as the City of Oregon - to avoid further annexation by Toledo.

UNINCORPORATED areas such as unincorporated Townships (which is what Adams Township was) can be annexed, but this requires specific procedures to be followed.

Now, if two incorporated areas wanted to merge, I'm not sure how that would occur under Ohio law...

The city of Sylvania tried it recently. The city has always wanted total control over the Township, and with the support of Township Trustee Carol Contrada the city tried a merger. Unfortunately for Ms. Contrada a small clause generally known as Ohio State Law got in the way, and so the merger failed.

Ohio State law provides that residents of the city and the township in question vote separately on the issue. Both city and township populations must be in favor of the merger for it to take place.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

Yes, that's what I've been reading. An annexation of one incorporation by another isn't really an annexation. It's a merger and both have to agree to it.

If the City of Toledo voted to merge with Ottawa Hills, I'm sure the vote would be a direct flip-flop of what Ottawa Hills' vote would be. 90/10 and 10/90.

So it will never happen. Not ever. Not with O.H., Oregon, the City of Sylvania or Maumee. None of those will merge with Toledo, since all of those greatly expanded due to those FLEEING Toledo. They hate Toledo -- and with good reason.

Toledo's ravenous Democrat crooks will have to look elsewhere to find money to steal. With a de-balled Congress coming up in January, and a Republican Governor coming at the same time, the outlook for Democrat thievery is very dim. And I'm going to spend as much time as is necessary rubbing their stupid noses in it. Bad dog!

At any rate, my biggest fear is that Unigov will be tried, as a merging of county government into city government in Toledo. There's unfortunate precedent for such a thing.

One of the things I have not been able to determine for myself is whether or not having "township-level" governments/communities is a good or bad thing. Everywhere else I have lived, there were no townships. You had only the County, and then incorporated towns, cities or villages. It seemed to me that the lack of townships resulted in more efficient government in the unincorporated areas. However, some people I talked to also felt that County government wasn't as responsive as that in incorporated areas. It's a tough thing to compare, as there are so many other things (taxation, annexation, etc.) that are so different between the two systems...

Well, Tex, doesn't that suggest that the redundancy in our system is the county government itself? What would be easier to do as a reform action and a political action ... getting rid of a single county govt apparatus, or getting rid of a number of township govts in the county?

Basic googling shows LC has 11 townships:

Harding
Jerusalem
Monclova
Providence
Richfield
Spencer
Springfield
Swanton
Sylvania
Washington
Waterville

... along with 4 actual cities (municipalities), and an assortment of villages. You can see the townships and cities here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Map_of_Lucas_County_Ohio_With_Municipa...

Toledo merely occupies about a third of that county area, with 60% of its population. Unigov would give that large municipality pretty much total control of the county.

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