I woke up on the morning of February 24, 2012 with the note you can see below. It’s from a parent in the Pickerington School district who has been watching the actions of Superintendent Mantia here in Southern Ohio. This parent is uniquely positioned to give a statement about Mantia because Pickerington is the school district that the current Lakota superintendent came from in August of 2011. It read as follows:
I’m a parent of students from Pickerington and let me tell you that Dr. Mantia will ruin your schools. She removed almost all music, art, phys ed teachers and librarians. Our libraries used the most current media material and the students loved library where they learned to use podcasts, they wrote book reviews and they had the greatest book clubs. The students loved to read because of the fantastic librarians. They are gone. She has combined music, art and gym together. They currently meet as a group at a school every 6-9 weeks. That means that they only receive physical activity for one week and it isn’t intense activity either.
She took a pay raise one month before she left after resigning. Please watch her and her agenda for the sake of your students, teachers, support staff and your wallet.
As my readers here know, I declared the Lakota School District officially dead after the February 13, 2012 meeting, so I saw no point in going to this latest meeting. It was as predicted more of the same strategy of protecting the wages of the school employees with the smoke and mirrors of fancy terminology that essentially meant nothing. The concession by the Lakota School System to retreat backward as a district with these three public school board meetings instead of restructuring their very expensive labor contracts is deplorable. With this third budget cutting school board meeting, the No Lakota Levy has officially begun the campaign to end this fourth levy attempt which appears to already be underway on behalf of the school board decisions. No Lakota Levy will soon announce a major initiative in reaction to these decisions by the school board. I am done with Lakota as a governing body. I officially cast my vote of no confidence in their direction.
Lakota under the leadership of Superintendent Mantia from Pickerington elected to eliminate 36 more jobs centering on art, music, and physical education, which is consistent with the behavior indicated above by the note from the parent. This is in addition to the 69 positions cut from last weeks meeting that caused me to regulate my opinion as a nail in the coffin to the Lakota educational body as a whole.
During the meeting last night several people were texting me and asking what I was doing, and why I wasn’t there. I told them that I was watching the DVR backups of Ghost Hunters, and my TV show was more important. I said that I thought the ghosts walking around on that TV show were more real than the ghosts walking around at the Lakota School Board meeting on stage, because both were just as effective as managers. In the TV show the ghosts make noise by banging on doors and sending out cryptic EVP recordings. The Lakota School Board does the same; they make a lot of noise with a stupid program named S.T.E.A.M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) while at the same time cutting those programs with staffing and as Jeff Kursman said at the meeting,
“These aren’t efficiencies, these are reductions. Efficiencies will include things that hopefully we’ll hear about in the next week or two. Things like outsourcing of technology when it comes with dealing with the central office, cutting back on central office administrators…centralizing purchasing or negotiating a better rate in health care. What I see you talking about here today is a degradation of liberal arts education.”
All that was occurring at the school board meeting was a bunch of ghosts making noise to a captive audience. Just like the ghosts in Ghost Hunters the ghosts are powerless to do anything in real life because they are in fact dead. The school board is powerless to do anything but scare people, just like the ghosts in Ghost Hunters. So I see no difference between the school board meeting and an episode of Ghost Hunters. With that in mind I stayed home in the comfort of my home and watched the ghosts on TV rather than waste my time at the school board meeting.
I’m happy to see the comments from Jeff Kursman and others who are now beginning to question the merit of this entire money scheming operation known as the Lakota School System. The key to meeting a balanced budget is to reduce the cost of the services, and that is to drive down the labor costs. Cutting a few teachers here and there is only a band-aid to the situation. Only by making across the board cuts to the 80% of the $160 million dollar budget can the Lakota School System meet its budget supplied generously by the community. Anything less than a contract restructuring with the Lakota labor force will be sufficient.
Karen Mantia has brought with her to the Lakota School System a strategy used at her last job of Pickerington to diminish the quality of the district in order to force parents to pass a tax increase to sustain their inflated union contracts. And to execute that objective she and the school board are willing to destroy everything that is good about Lakota to protect the wages of their union allies. That’s what these ghosts of Lakota were doing, and why I’m not interested in anything they have to say any longer. Instead, the No Lakota Levy will be shifting gears to approach our tax fighting methods without the assumption that Lakota will see the light and come to their senses by listing to our arguments. Now, we must assume that they are not even relevant, and we must find ways to remove their impact from destroying our community in an extortion ring that is evidently well underway. If this fight for more taxes were for the kids truly, then these ghosts of Lakota would not use the kids by stealing from the community’s $160 million dollar budget and take away programs while protecting employee incomes at the expense of the children.
So for now on, I will treat these employees like the ghosts they are, as irrelevant to the land of the living, and powerless to us all if they are robbed of their ability to invoke fear. Because as far as usefulness, they are lacking completely in any ability required in the real world, and are truly manifestations from the land of the dead.
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