Tolliver: Say, where is your kid..?Written by Guest Author | | GuestAuthor@toledofreepress.com
by Lafe Tolliver, Attorney
I thought that in the interest of total transparency I would first have my letter that I am sending to the Toledo Board of Education printed so that if there is any blowback, you will know that you read it ahead of time.
What you have to understand is that during this new phase of touting the catchy phrase, “TPS Proud!” the school board has to put meaning in it and behind it.
If it is only a quick moniker, then it is only a public relations stunt that will land up in the verbal landfill of soon forgotten aphorisms.
But, I digress. What I want the letter to do is to show whether or not this presently constituted school board is willing to make those tough decisions that is part and parcel of being “TPS Proud!”
As you may or may not know, the public education system in Toledo gets approximately $5,800.00 (note: this amount is from about 2-3 years ago) for each pupil that is enrolled in the system. That is what they use to educate and run the public school system.
Now, without being a math major, if you were to have say one hundred teachers who have one or more kids and those kids are placed in the local parochial schools or private schools or schools outside of the jurisdiction of TPS, you can see the tremendous dollar loss for TPS.
Just doing the minimal math, when you multiply two hundred times $5,800.00, you get annual loss of $1.16 million dollars!
Just imagine that additional income going towards curriculum items that were cut in the past like art, music, physical education and pre college courses.
Just imagine those funds providing school supplies so that teachers do not have to spend their own funds on basics for their classrooms.
Just imagine those funds being available for community outreach programs so that the truancy rate could be reduced and we could have enriched reading programs for preschoolers.
Need more programs to prevent teenage pregnancies and bullying?…there is your funding! Need more programs to help parents assist their kids in doing their homework and helping kids navigate the rigors of applying for a two year or a four year college?…there is your missing funding!
Does the school board have the vision to stop this yearly loss of income by telling their teachers to bring their kids into the system?
Does the school board have the backbone to stand up to the unions and tell them that the recoupment of those willfully absent dollars is of the highest priority?
We will soon see who on the school board has a backbone made of starch or who who has a backbone made of warm jelly.
When this letter hits the mailboxes of the school board members and Superintendent Dr. R. Durant, you should also send letters and tweets and emails to the board members and the superintendent telling them that you want them to back this letter.
If they don’t, remember their decisions when it comes time to vote again for a school levy or if any of the naysaying board members run for re-election.
Now, the letter:
To: Superintendent Dr. Romules Durant & TPS board members
From: Lafe Tolliver
Re: Recoupment of Lost School Dollars
Dr. Durant and board members:
It has come to my attention that each year, the Toledo School Board, on behalf of its enrolled pupil population receives approximately $5800.00 (figure subject to change) per pupil for purposes of education and administration of education programs and activities.
However, it is a known fact that many employees of the TPS, be they classroom teachers, administrators, managerial parties, clerks or non-teaching parties, draw a paycheck from TPS, but have their children enrolled in non-Toledo Public Schools.
Those schools could be parochial, private or schools located outside of the jurisdiction of TPS. Schools like Rossford, Perrysburg, Oregon, Maumee, Washington Local, etc.
By allowing such employees the option to not place their children in the same school system by which that employee draws their paycheck, is a glaring omission by this school board.
What you are stating is that although they may be an employee of TPS, their child should not be required to be enrolled in the same school system which enables that parent to send that child elsewhere for an education.
Furthermore, TPS is voluntarily forfeiting hundreds of thousands of dollars (and who knows over the past decades the millions of dollars that were also lost in the same manner) per year by its refusal to have all of its employees enroll all of their school age children in TPS.
After all, if TPS wants and encourages parents to send their children to TPS for an education why are any TPS employees exempt from this same dictate?
It is akin to the chairman of General Motors extolling buyers to buy Buicks but we find out that the chairman drives an Audi! False advertising to say the least.
If teachers who draw a paycheck from TPS do not believe in the value of a TPS education, they should be given an ultimatum of either placing their children in a TPS school by the following school year or find another job.
And as for future employees, it should be noted in their employment interview that if they have school age children, that as a part of their employment contract, those children must be enrolled in a TPS school. The same goes for school board members, TPS employees and any person who draws a check from TPS.
Let’s stop the double standard and hypocrisy and put the lost dollars back into TPS.
If you really are “TPS Proud!” the above requirements should be greeted by all with enthusiasm…that is, IF you really believe your own slogan of “TPS Proud!”
comments to: Tolliver@Juno.com