The following is the text of the $79.95 million bond issue that will put Xenia homeowners and wage earners up-to-their-ears in more debt. The average amount of debt each household will share is about $3,300. For the same amount, every homeowner could be driving a new Mazda or Nissan Altima. Okay, they would have to convince the dealership to lease for 28 years. Because we are in a terrible recession, a dealership just might. I bet you a Pontiac dealer would.
Anyway, the official bond issue ballot is as follows:
A Majority Affirmative Vote Is Necessary For Passage.
Shall the Xenia Community City School District, Greene and Warren Counties, Ohio be authorized to do the following:
(1) Issue bonds for the purpose of constructing school facilities under the State of Ohio Classroom Facilities Assistance Program and related facilities, including science and technology labs and community meeting space; renovating, improving and constructing additions to existing facilities; furnishing and equipping the same, including enhanced safety and security devices; improving the sites thereof; and acquiring land and interests in land, in the principal amount of $79,950,000, to be repaid annually over a maximum period of twenty-eight (28) years, and levy a property tax outside the ten mill limitation, estimated by the county auditor to average over the bond repayment period seven and forty hundredths (7.40) mills for each one dollar of tax valuation, which amounts to seventy-four ($0.74) cents for each one hundred dollars of tax valuation, commencing in 2009, first due in calendar year 2010, to pay the annual debt charges on the bonds, and to pay debt charges on any notes issued in anticipation of those bonds?
(2) Levy an additional property tax to provide for permanent improvements for the School District at a rate not exceeding one half (0.50) mills for each one dollar of tax valuation, which amounts to $0.05 for each one hundred dollars of tax valuation, for a continuing period of time, commencing in 2009, first due in calendar year 2010?
FOR THE BOND ISSUE AND TAX LEVY
AGAINST THE BOND ISSUE AND TAX LEVY
Pros & Cons:
Surely, you have read the expensive four-color sales brochure that was delivered to every Xenia household compliments of the school board. In case your color blind, it consists of blues, yellows, and reds. There is also green. Oh, you missed that color! It’s the color of lot of money. To prove it, let me quote from the school administrator’s 10 page sales brochure.
“Well its our turn now, Xenia, to take our share of the State money–near $58 million–to revitalize our schools and communities.” (p.2)
The proposed $79.95 million bond issue “is fairer because it extends for 28 years–meaning future generations will have to pay their rightful share.” (p.2)
To pay for our school that the State has determined we need, the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) “is offering a 48 percent off sale–we pay 52 percent and they pay 48 percent–for new schools.” (p.2)
There you have it a sale no community experiencing a severe economic recession could possibly pass up. Yes, you must buy into it today for three reasons: (1) Building new schools will create new jobs (p.3); (2) the building might crumble to the ground and blow away (pp.3,6); and (3) because it is inevitable anyway, you can pay now or you Will Pay Later (p.4).
Could the pros be conning taxpayers?
Everyone knows new schools will create new jobs for Xenia. You will notice that those construction jobs are temporary jobs. Some Xenia resident might get hired by out-of-town contractors. Because investment advisers and some economists predict the recession will continue beyond 2010, those jobs might help a few for a while. What Xenia really needs is more businesses that pay more local residents a good income on a long-term basis.
The school administrators’ sales pitch does present some truth. New schools would provide a better environment, but here is the problem: the new plan is like the old plan. The primary objective of both old and new is not better education but getting the state’s money extorted from tobacco companies.
Although I’m not a bleeding heart for large corporations, taking $58 million of such funds obtained by extortion is to support state crime.
I used to smoke a pack or two of cigarettes a day. Written on every pack was a warning that inhaling might have harmful consequences. Everyone I knew was aware of someone who had died of cancer or some other disease caused by consuming tobacco products. We all exercised our freedom by choosing to risk getting ill and possibly dying. Anyone employed in making the stuff know the risks as well. The tobacco companies didn’t deceive or coerce us or anyone else into consuming or making their products. Consequently, the state extorted money from the tobacco companies, and it’s being justified by helping pay for public education.
Once everyone is beholding to a corrupt state no one will have a legitimate right to complain about greater state injustices or crimes.
Once everyone is beholding to a corrupt state no one will have a legitimate right to complain about greater state injustices or crimes. The $58 million sales is like buying from the mafia on credit–Guido may one day come to collect and probably some additional interest not agreed upon. If you don’t pay up, Guido will hurt you. Giving up our freedom to tyrants will not end well either.
Unless, more new schools are built to accommodate the children living in our community’s new housing areas, all Xenia families and children will get is new ineffective schools. That is what studies of many school districts around the nation have proven. Small neighborhood schools are the most effective structure and organization of schools. That is exactly what the Xenia plan still does not do. In order to get the state’s extorted money, school administrator plan on combining schools. School research from around the nations provide ample evidence that the best learning environments are not just school with small classes but also schools under 350 students, which is mentioned in Ohio law.
Xenia doesn’t need the state’s extortion money. Our community built the current schools by raising our taxes as needed. The one of the primary reasons for the Ohio School Facilities Commission is to assist with capital funding for the needier communities. OSFC will have funding available after the recession is over. It may not be as large a pool of money they extorted from tobacco companies, but it will exist all the same.
See also my research on the subject:
Xenia Community Schools Rebuilding Plan : What I Learned at the Forum
Xenia Community Schools Rebuilding Plan : Why Small Schools are Best
Xenia Community Schools Rebuilding Plan : It’s All About the Money