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Voters OK four levies, reject three others

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Posted: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 11:17 pm | Updated: 8:43 am, Tue Apr 22, 2014.

The Daily Inter Lake

Voters for the third time since 2009 turned down a building reserve request for Kalispell high schools, but they approved a $211,500 elementary levy request.

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          • jeancalvinus posted at 11:02 pm on Fri, May 11, 2012.

            jeancalvinus Posts: 327


            If you're the real mccoy, I love your show.

            anyway, it is difficult, in some measure, to compare the performance of students from different eras, as they never go "head to head." this does not, however, make the comparison impossible.

            what does it really mean to be an IB student? it merely means one is taking classes at the college level, while in high school. this means the classes are more difficult than the high school classes one's non-IB classmates are taking. Good on the kids who take advantage of this, it is an effective way to get a head start on their college career.

            My point is that the content of the IB classes compare to what was taught when I was in upper level high school course in the seventies. there aren't a whole lot of folks involved in secondary ed who would try to demonstrate that academic standards overall are higher than they once were, or even that they are on par. they are lower, which is why the SAT exam had to be adjusted during the last decade to stop the decline in test scores. once the exam was reworked, scores mysteriously improved by an avg of 100 points OVERNIGHT. the test prep services will tell you their job became easier with the new exam, as it provides a lower bar for the students to jump over.

            this of course doesn't mean that all students perform at a lower level. I am certain some percentage (one I can't quantify for now) of today's students are just as capable as those of yesteryear. The cream stays on top. but when the nature of the material covered is factored in, tenured college faculty will tell you that the difficulty level of the material they test over has steadily declined. math and science core ed requirements have been reduced. what is the net effect of all this "standard adjustment?" a net lowering of what it takes to be considered an exceptional student. that is my point.

            it isn't the student's fault that less is expected of them. shoot, less was expected of ME when I was in high school than what was required of my grandparent's generation. ever take a look at the assessment tests of a century ago?

            I won't bore you with homeschool stats, I'll bet you have seen them. for years the union types pooh-poohed, them, then they (wisely) switched tactics and said "here's what happens when class sizes are smaller. standardized test scores go up." problem is, they see as the only factor the low student teacher ratio. It's also about CONTENT (a host of other issues are at play, but I'll not get into them here).

            bottom line: bollocks to the "IB students are far above" crap. The real fact is the average student is FAR BELOW. that makes the IB kid look better by comparison.

            as to a debate, few on either side of this really address what the other says. I judge high school forensics regularly, and guess what? they don't do it much there either. the exception would be LD debate, but even then the format doesn't lend itself to effective debate (too short).

            if you care to provide a narrowly defined issue to have a true debate on, with published guidelines, I'd be happy to participate. your high school students might do wonderful, but they might not either. I've been favorably impressed by some of the ones that show up here, but by no means all.

          • MontanaJim72 posted at 9:39 pm on Fri, May 11, 2012.

            MontanaJim72 Posts: 223

            jeancalvinus says...Congrats on your IB performance (seriously), but the fact is that performance was far more common when I was in HS. What is called exceptional now was once close to the norm (a little above).

            Sorry jeancalvinus...I am also involved in the school system. The IB people are far above what you ever experienced years ago. If i was moderating a debate between you and the high school students on this page, you would come in last place. They have presented intelligent arguements for their side. You have presented nothing except the fact that you really hate the teachers union. Unless I'm wrong, you home schooled your kids and think that you and your kids are superior because you were able to do that. I have nothing against home schooled students. However, there are just as many public school students who are just as smart. Your comments seem to reflect your hate of unions more than anything else. I am very proud of the students in our school district. I have been able to work with some of them on an occasional basis, and have observed the rest as they go through their day. They aren't perfect, but for the most part they are very respectful. They are high school students, nothing more or less. They deserve the best we can give them, just like our parents did for us.

          • Westvalley posted at 5:35 pm on Fri, May 11, 2012.

            Westvalley Posts: 100

            I would agree that the unions has helped with damaging our education system, unions don't care what kind of education the kids get and as one head union official said "We will care about what kind of education a child gets when they start paying dues." this kind of statement makes me sick, union officials by the way send their kids to private schools. I don't agree with taking your anger out on the kids and having it effecting their education, what most people don't seem to realize is that these kids will effect us in the future and I would rather they be successful in life than paying for the butts in the form of welfare or prison.

          • libra42 posted at 9:45 am on Fri, May 11, 2012.

            libra42 Posts: 461

            Great post, jeancalvinus. It's hard to believe that Albert Einstein would not be able to teach today. The union has crippled our education system and that's a damn shame.

          • jeancalvinus posted at 10:16 pm on Thu, May 10, 2012.

            jeancalvinus Posts: 327


            FACT: 4 years ago, a high school student in SD5 could take a college course for dual credit, REGARDLESS of the college teachers "certification" (so called) regarding the instruction of high school students.

            FACT: at that time, the running start program at FVCC had resulted in fully 10% of the total student body being from a local high school.

            FACT: 3 years ago, the state board of education, on recommendation from the Montana K-12 teachers union, changed this policy and made it mandatory for a college teacher teaching college materials on a college campus to have a high school ed certification, if the course were to be applied to the students high school transcript.

            FACT: the college teachers (rightly so,IMO) did not run out and get their ed certifications

            FACT: Running start enrollment from the local high schools plummeted to low single digits, as there were almost no college teachers certified to teach high school, and therefore, the students would have to take the courses for college credit only.

            FACT: the vast majority of running start students today are from the home school community, since they are not bound by the state board of ed, and can continue to award dual credit, regardless of the college teachers lack of a secondary ed cert

            SOURCE: Multiple faculty at FVCC, FHS, and Glacier. I have a number of teacher friends.
            Also, the Daily Interlake from the fall of 2009, and the FVCC campus newspaper 2008-2009 (when these discussions started)

            Again, the teachers union pushed this, and got the board of ed to agree. What is ironic is that they are REALLY saying, is that "our high school students can't learn college material from a college instructor they are not mature/ smart/ fill in whatever word you want enough to hack it in school until we've had them for 4 years." Guess they think it needs to be dumbed down for the students (an opinion I do not share).

            Funny thing is, the state does not require the high school IB teachers to be certified college teachers. It only cuts one way it would seem.

            You may presume what you want about my situation. As I said before, this is temporary and a means to an end. What that end is would terrify you. I'll give you a hint: I am currently an avid tutor in the sciences and math. To college AND high school students. It doesn't pay much--for now.

            And again, you understate the total package these tenured teachers get. close to $75k when you factor all of the benefits.

            We ARE getting what we pay for, btw, and a great deal of us DON"T LIKE IT ONE BIT. That's why we've tried to turn the tap off. I have serious doubts it will continue, the anti-levy crowd used to be thick on these boards, but it has definitely swung the other way. My side is content to just show up and vote no, but as the last vote shows you (very close), unless the no vote is mobilized, it will swing back back your way very soon. I predict the levy is brought back, as an emergency measure, on or before the general election.

          • Partyer posted at 9:09 pm on Thu, May 10, 2012.

            Partyer Posts: 684

            I got it. Would each person who voted for the high school building reserve please mail in a donation of $1094.65? Hooray, there's your $4127915. Thank you.

          • rmf posted at 1:31 pm on Thu, May 10, 2012.

            rmf Posts: 11


            Where are the facts that the teachers union has blocked the Running Start program? I feel many of your statements on here are not backed with facts, but your biased opinion against public education. OPI and the federal gov't dictates that K-12 students need to be taught by highly qualified and certified teachers...not the unions.

            If you are making 1/4 of a veteran teacher($65,000 range)with a M.A.s then shame on you. Then you are claiming that you're making somewhere in the $16,000 per year range. You need to spend less time posting and more time working, or acquire more education so you can find a better job. A first year teacher in Montana makes roughly $30,000 per year with a B.S. A person making $10 per hour makes $20,000+ per year with no post secondary education. So, either you aren't working very many hours or you don't have the job skills to be paid more? I would focus my energy on enhancing my job position instead of tearing down education with my time.

            If you don't pay teachers decent salaries then you get what you pay for in the end. You are not going to attract bright young people into the profession if it's not valued or if the can't make a decent salary.

          • interested1 posted at 9:56 am on Thu, May 10, 2012.

            interested1 Posts: 31

            The union has done more than obstruct the FVCC instructor in Running Start. They also encourage teachers and counselors at the high schools to make it extremely difficult to enroll in Running Start. FVCC has done a fantastic job of promoting Running Start, and for free. Let's just say no union (Somers or SD5)got in the way of my child's education. It all starts at home...

          • jeancalvinus posted at 9:09 am on Thu, May 10, 2012.

            jeancalvinus Posts: 327

            Partyer could be right, but we're stuck with the school board we have, no matter how deep their heads are shoved into the sand. A citizen recall to throw Schottle out is about the only option (sorry Darlene, but all of this is happening on your watch).

            And again, it's not just the $10 per year, it is the thousands we ALREADY pay in property taxes.

          • Partyer posted at 8:01 am on Thu, May 10, 2012.

            Partyer Posts: 684

            Time for a new plan. There has to be another way to fund the needed repairs and improvements. Because the taxpayers here have had it with the local school administration, obviously. The argument that "it's only twelve dollars a year per household" didn't convince many people to cave in. Their NO vote argues back "we're not paying another twelve dollars a year for this kind of management."

          • jeancalvinus posted at 7:33 am on Thu, May 10, 2012.

            jeancalvinus Posts: 327

            Interested 1, the IB thing is good, but I submit running start at FVCC is superior. Did you know the first 6 credits are free every semester?

            Running start has stalled in terms of enrollment, because the teachers union derailed it. They demanded that only college teachers certified to teach high school kids could teach their own college course for dual credit students. Naturally, the college professors aren't buying that, and won't get certified to teach high school, thus few course are available for dual credit for most public schools. Only the homeschool families use this to great effect anymore.

          • jeancalvinus posted at 7:28 am on Thu, May 10, 2012.

            jeancalvinus Posts: 327

            No citizen, being involved in debate (my favorite extra curricular, btw, I commend you for it) does not mean you can stay engaged.

            I stand by the name you were called--"ungrateful" (I also added sprite, but as you know, that is not a perjorative term and merely refers to a youth). It characterizes most of the public school educated, as they see their trip through the hallowed halls of learning as a right. It may well be a right, but it does not follow that it is without cost or sacrifice on the part of the homeowners who pay for it.

            The day I see any student come on here or any other public forum and say "thank you" to the taxpayers who make their education possible will be the first.

            I dare say I am not superior to you in worth (all are equal on that front) but in terms of accomplishments I had damn well BETTER be superior. I am over twice your age.

            You don't have to continue in this specific thread to stay engaged. Everyone's schedule gets busy some time, just get down off your high horse and stay engaged in the debate when you can.

            Have a good day yourself. I hope you do well on finals.

            PS you'll be back. you can't help it.

          • Citizen13 posted at 6:59 am on Thu, May 10, 2012.

            Citizen13 Posts: 7

            I will make one last statement before I leave.

            Over the last two years we have set records in IB enrollment, and are set to keep expanding. Currently half of the upperclassmen population is involved in the IB program with dozens of sophomores involved in the program as well through our one class offered at that level. Just because this is true for your student does not mean it is accurate for everyone. I know students who come from extremely differing backgrounds who are succesful in IB, and this can happen due to the teacher involvement that goes on with these classes.

            I am not afraid of a debate, trust me, I am involved in speech and debate at school. But, as a student, now is one of the busiest times for me as the year comes to a close and I have many things to study for and papers to write. I can't spend my time arguing with a person who resorts to name-calling and personal superiority to try and 'break' their opponent instead of arguing the facts and the situation at hand.

            Have a Good Day.

          • interested1 posted at 5:40 am on Thu, May 10, 2012.

            interested1 Posts: 31

            Two questions:
            What percentage of the original FHS class of 2012 is about to graduate?
            What percentage of the FHS class of 2012 is performing at the IB level?

            Neither of these are purchased. Both come from home. I am a parent of an IB student, and the only reason for this is due to what goes on at home, not at school.

          • jeancalvinus posted at 12:47 am on Thu, May 10, 2012.

            jeancalvinus Posts: 327

            One of my kids graduated high school with their SOPHOMORE year of college completed. I demand a lot from my kids education wise.

          • jeancalvinus posted at 12:46 am on Thu, May 10, 2012.

            jeancalvinus Posts: 327

            Further, some of you students and recent grads need to read the 100+ posts I have made on the topic. Many, many, many of the points you try to make here have been addressed ad nauseum by me over many years.

            Teachers get paid very little? EVEN STARTING TEACHERS MAKE MORE THAN I DO, and the ones with tenure make 4 times what I do. Go read the teacher pay and benefits section on the SD5 website (it's all there). Look up every teacher you ever had and THEN come tell me they don't make much. Oh yeah, make sure you read the benefits section as well, it isn't all lumped in together.

          • jeancalvinus posted at 12:39 am on Thu, May 10, 2012.

            jeancalvinus Posts: 327


            If you re-read my post, you will see I said "you" as a representative student. You cannot take the performance of the IB student and extrapolate it over the rest of the student population. It is you, grouped WITH your peers (not just the IB ones), that are performing poorly (in comparison).

            I can't be certain, but I am almost so that I live closer to a third world existence than most. In terms of square footage, money for food, money spent on "entertainment," complete lack of vacations, going to out to eat as a family maybe TWICE a year, no cable, no data phones, driving old vehicles, etc etc etc. We are choosing this existence as a means to an end, but while waiting to get there, we are VERY austere. Austerity measures at the school are in order as well, so it isn't like you're hearing from someone with a Hummer in the garage and a retirement account.

            Don't act like an ostrich with your head shoved in the sand, the stats which prove our place waaaay down the world ed rankings are well known and published often. That's like saying "where are your stats to prove that grocery prices are high?"

            Congrats on your IB performance (seriously), but the fact is that performance was far more common when I was in HS. What is called exceptional now was once close to the norm (a little above).

            It doesn't matter that you want to stop the discussion, truth is, you're just one of many high school students who came and went from the Interlake comment section. None of you have the stomach to stick with it, which is an indictment on your education. I have been arguing against levies for 6 years now. The adults here that disagree with me, like flyfish (and even kristofferson) have at least stayed engaged over that time frame. They understand that it is about selling a paradigm, WHICH TAKES TIME and not just trumpeting a simple (although worthy) accomplishment like an IB diploma. Go out and support a family for 20+ years and then we'll talk.

            The extra $15 a year is on TOP of the thousands we already pay EVERY YEAR to support your education you ungrateful sprite. You have a sense of entitlement, and no appreciation for what we already pay. Not a single word of thanks from you or the other johnny-come-lately students who post here every time a levy fails.

            At roughly $8000 a year, your K-12 education just cost us nearly a hundred grand. I don't think I got my money's worth out of you if you can't even stay in the fight. Swallow your pride and your candy apple view of the world and stick with it, We may disagree, but I have more respect if you don't duck and run if you can't convince someone in less than ten posts.

          • Citizen13 posted at 11:45 pm on Wed, May 9, 2012.

            Citizen13 Posts: 7

            I too am a IB Full Diploma student and understand flatheadgrad's point. IAlso, if you are going to compare our learning style to that of a third world country then you have to take into account that our community doesn't live in a thrid world setting. It's not a problem of simply not having the funds, its people refusing to see our educational needs.

            what stats do you have to say we are 'getting smoked'? Flathead High School currently runs one of the most succesful IB programmes in the nation. And exactly what money are you talking about that is being 'poured' into our school? thats the whole issue.

            If you agree to live a third world lifestyle THEN I will agree to learn in such a setting.

            This will be my last post as I can tell that your argument has not been formulated to take into account the specific situation that affects our schools. No matter what you will simply find another irrelevant way to 'address' the issue. All I ask is to please consider us young adults and how your decisions affect our lives every day. Thank you.

          • lostjohnny posted at 11:42 pm on Wed, May 9, 2012.

            lostjohnny Posts: 7

            I believe the failed HS levy is in actuality a no confidence vote on school administration. After what has happened in the past 2 years (shouldn't have to remind anyone of all the problems at the schools) and the administrations way of trying to sweep everything under the rug, it is no wonder voters don't support the schools. Let's start at the top and get rid of Schottle, Dennehy, and a couple other problem points and then see if voters will be more receptive to passing a mill levy. It is going to take time and effort by school administrators to win back voter trust and respect that the present school administration has pi###d away. How long will it take for School District #5 Administration to realize they work for the voters and they can't do anything they want anytime they want to--accountability is what this voter wants to see.

          • flatheadgraduate posted at 10:52 pm on Wed, May 9, 2012.

            flatheadgraduate Posts: 1

            Jean, I think you need to get some perspective. I was an International Baccalaureate Full Diploma student at Flathead and we have delivered. With the IB program students can graduate with their Freshman year of college accounted for. A former IB student from Flathead recently received a presidential medal from University of Washington's Honors Nursing Program. If that's not success, I don't know what is. These IB classes are the classes that are smaller because not many students take the challenge. This is what allows the students to be successful. The gen ed classes that you propose should be made larger are full of the kids you say "don't deliver" because they aren't able to receive the one-on-one attention from teachers, because they are trying to help 30 kids in one class period. These are the kids who feel like they have no reason to go to school because they are just a number in a large classroom. Increasing class sizes will lead to increased drop out rates. Maybe you're the reason that we aren't delivering. Also, I don't think you understand how little teachers get paid, and how much more they deserve.

            I also don't think that Flathead students take their building for granted, it is just frustrating to work on computers that don't work the majority of the time. I don't think a $15 "tax" per year is much to ask from you. Instead of going out to eat one night, pay for your portion of the levy. Come on.

          • jeancalvinus posted at 10:13 pm on Wed, May 9, 2012.

            jeancalvinus Posts: 327

            Citizen, you and your fellow students are getting smoked by third world students from places like India who learn with NO roof in some cases.

            The typical american student needs plush, luxurious schools by comparison, and STILL fail to measure up in many cases. All that money dumped into making you comfortable didn't deliver.

            Get a little perspective.

          • Citizen13 posted at 9:39 pm on Wed, May 9, 2012.

            Citizen13 Posts: 7

            The theatre is used daily by acting design classes and for practice of class productions. We also must limit the traffic through this area as we have expensive sound technology, some of which is already in need of repair, to keep safe and we cannot afford to keep repainting the theatre from constant foot traffic through that area. Also, the gym is used everyday by our gym classes all day. these areas are already utilized to their full potential. I have been in classes stuffed to the brim, such as my government class which is required to graduate, and things do not work out well as it is impossible to navigate our small rooms. You have rendered your own point moot, college level learning styles will not be able to take place, especially at the freshman level when most gen eds are taken. The point is that the students are suffering due to the public's criticism of the school board, and have turned a blind eye to the real world problems students have everyday. I shouldn't have to spend my day with holes in the ceiling above me and a 5 gallon bucket next to me to catch all the leaks. It can be expected that the next time the levy comes to a vote, the student participation to raise awareness about who you are actually hurting will be even higher. We are tired of our education being pushed aside.

          • Citizen13 posted at 9:26 pm on Wed, May 9, 2012.

            Citizen13 Posts: 7

            The theatre is in constant in use daily for acting design classes and to practice class productions. Not to mention that we must limit traffic through that area in order to keep very expensive sound equipment safe, and to avoid having to lay down new coats of paint. And, the gymnasium is also in use all day by our gym classes. These solutions are not feasible. You have made your own point moot. High schoolers will never behave as college students because of this immaturity, making larger class sizes impossible as well. And i have been in such classes, my government class (a gen ed for graduating) was filled to the brim and impossible to move around in as well as my Theory of Knowledge class that is too large to have effective discussion, the whole point of the class. When it comes to class sizes, FHS is doing the best we can with what we have got. The point is that our students should not be forced to learn with gaping holes in the ceiling above their heads and 5 gallon buckets sitting beside them to catch leaks.

          • mom posted at 6:36 pm on Wed, May 9, 2012.

            mom Posts: 628

            I think the levy failed because some of what was wanted at FHS was not necessary. They should have asked for just enough to cover what repairs were absolutely needed.

          • jeancalvinus posted at 6:31 pm on Wed, May 9, 2012.

            jeancalvinus Posts: 327

            Yes citizen, I have been inside FHS (multiple times). No the point of my post was not let's transition to ALL 300+ student classes. the point is larger class sizes are possible.

            Have you been in the theatre? or the gymnasium? or do high school students need to be coddled with desks for every class? ever take a class where you had to take notes on your lap? this is fairly common at many colleges.

            the student aid thing is a nonstarter, not all colleges with larger classes employ them. My daughter goes to one that doesn't. yet there are up to 300 students in some of the classes, and up to 60 in others.

            you are wrong about college and high school not being able to function the same way, and you are right. What makes you right is that high school students are ridiculously immature compared to college students. what makes you wrong is that in schools were adult behavior is demanded and childish immaturity is expelled, any class size between 10-300 could work (for gen ed classes, not advocating this for Calc or Physics or other classes where only hard working kids appear).

          • Westvalley posted at 5:53 pm on Wed, May 9, 2012.

            Westvalley Posts: 100

            Also if you think about it the schools probably wouldn't have to ask for levy's for repair cost, books and other items if the Federal Government would stop cutting funding for education in our country just to give it to other counties for roads and schools. But most of us just sit back and complain about the situation our education system is in instead of contacting our representatives and telling them to stop cutting education.

          • Citizen13 posted at 5:47 pm on Wed, May 9, 2012.

            Citizen13 Posts: 7


            Have you been inside of FHS? What space do you propose exactly to house a large class such as that? We have a lecture hall already that is filled to its max every period. But even that is in need of desperate repair with several seats missing. We also fill our P.E. Classes as much as we can. The limitation on class size is not the teacher's ability to teach, but the sheer size of the space we can use, it is physically impossible to fit anymore students in a class. Also, in college the classroom is helped to function a lot by student aids. This would not eliminate the need for staffing. It is a comparison of apples and oranges, high school and college cannot run the same due to the precedent established both through time and the way our building has been constructed.

          • Westvalley posted at 5:39 pm on Wed, May 9, 2012.

            Westvalley Posts: 100

            Something that people are not thinking about is that Flathead High School repair cost are going to keep going up if the levy's to fix the problems keep getting voted down. With the exception of the size of the school it's not any different than taking care of your house if you don't fix the problems as they pop up the items needing repair and the cost will keep going up. The people saying that we need to stuff 300 to 400 students in the rooms won't work for obvious reasons one of them is the size of the rooms and unlike college classes the high school students are not mature or responsible enough to handle being in large classes, also it's been proven with test scores that college students in smaller classes preform better than the 300 class sizes at the large colleges. Flyfish my child goes to Glacier and I voted for the repairs to Flathead high, those kids education is just as important,. "Approximate cost to educate a child per year in 2012 $8,310.00, to pay for the care of an inmate $27,747.00 per year what would you rather your taxes go towards?

          • libra42 posted at 5:00 pm on Wed, May 9, 2012.

            libra42 Posts: 461

            I have been in classes of 400. It worked.
            Teachers haven't seen a raise in three years. I haven't either. Have you?
            The taxpayer is up against the wall. Can we find a better way to educate our people?

          • jeancalvinus posted at 4:49 pm on Wed, May 9, 2012.

            jeancalvinus Posts: 327


            I do not think it is the same voter bloc voting no on the levies that passed the high school bond request. It would be interesting to get that breakdown.

            it would also be interesting to hear that it was truly Glacier parents voting it down just because most of it was for Flathead, as some have alleged. I'm a Glacier parent,and I haven't heard that.

          • jeancalvinus posted at 4:44 pm on Wed, May 9, 2012.

            jeancalvinus Posts: 327


            who says high school only works with 25-30 to a class? colleges educate up to 300 in a class (but only in gen ed courses). why can't you (as a representative student) take some of your classes with more kids in the classroom? It can't be that the students are too dumb, nor can it be that the teachers can't teach, so what is the problem?

          • jeancalvinus posted at 4:41 pm on Wed, May 9, 2012.

            jeancalvinus Posts: 327


            you are absolutely correct--it IS one of the few taxes that come to a direct vote. I am glad you admit that it is a tax. I do not believe that is the whole story though.

            do you really want to get into a pi**ing match, or have a discussion? I can call names too, but at the end of this day, your levy was refused.

            Now what are you going to do (and that is not a taunt, it is a serious question)? seriously? I see only two courses of action--start the PR campaign right here right now for the next levy request (which I predict will come up at this fall's general election), and/or figure out where to cut the budget to pay for these emergency repairs. and make no mistake, the repairs must be made, or we'll all think it's a bunch of crying wolf.

            your supposed to be a teacher kris, act like it and stop spewing vinegar. come up with a course of action.

            are you capable of putting one out here on this forum? I've heard you at school board meetings--no solutions (other than to shut this Daily Interlake forum down), only vague generalized gripes and complaints.

            show us you can do more than obfuscate--PROPOSE A COURSE OF ACTION.

          • Citizen13 posted at 4:25 pm on Wed, May 9, 2012.

            Citizen13 Posts: 7

            If any of you spent a day in FHS as I do everyday as a student, you would be able to see the large problems that are starting to show through as our building ages. Most classes are already full as it is, so teacher cuts are an irresponsible action. I personally, along with every other student i spoke with today, am very disappointed in our community refusing to see the need that is present at our school. Please, try to look past yourself and realize that you are letting hundreds of us down.

          • krispistofferson posted at 3:30 pm on Wed, May 9, 2012.

            krispistofferson Posts: 265

            ...and it literally is a few bucks a year michael, quite sad. But at least they can boast that they're sticking it to the schools and their communist unions!

            and jean of many posts....why were so many levies voted down? It's pretty simple really even though it seems you have all the answers. They failed because it's one of the few times people can say no to taxes.

            There's always some malcontents like jean but in reality they don't have an effect on the voting, they're just annoying.

          • michael posted at 2:34 pm on Wed, May 9, 2012.

            michael Posts: 531

            What's that old saying? Cut off your nose to spite your face?? What a shame that the children and their education are made to suffer because people object to paying a few more bucks a year.

          • jeancalvinus posted at 1:34 pm on Wed, May 9, 2012.

            jeancalvinus Posts: 327


            I seriously question the accuracy of the statement "teachers haven't seen a raise in 3 years." Let me tell you, ANY increase in pay, whether through longevity or COLA is a raise in the real world. And PLENTY of teachers shave gotten at least one of those.

            My my unions know how to spin things for the unsuspecting public. Don't buy it folks.

          • pcdebbiesue posted at 11:45 am on Wed, May 9, 2012.

            pcdebbiesue Posts: 15

            Teachers haven't seen a raise in over 3 years... with increases every year in insurance costs there has been both cut in pay (inflation has not stopped but salary increases have) and benefits in the district... All the new teachers hired every year to replace retirees are prime for cutting as they are not tenured and therefore not "protected" by the union... at least not for keeping their jobs in times of cuts. If cuts are needed beyond non-tenured it goes by seniority.

            I do hope that Schottle and the district can turn this close vote and try to get the technology and building budget back.

          • flyfish posted at 11:43 am on Wed, May 9, 2012.

            flyfish Posts: 189

            When the bond issue for GHS was presented to the public for a vote the board made it very clear that this would cost more money in years to come in additional operating costs. This was put out front, in fact it was stated at several different community events that if you were not willing to financially support two schools through additional operational or building reserve levies then don't vote for the new school. If you remember correctly the bond passed by almost 2 to 1. What bothers me now are some of the Glacier parents and supporters, I was told yesterday by a friend who has 2 kids in GHS that why should he vote to support building repairs at FHS when his kids are in Glacier. Eventually the board will have no choice but to eliminate programs or staff to pay for repairs at FHS if these levies continue to fail, this will have an effect on Glacier. Thanks to the settlement the Montana Quality Education Cooperative got from the state in additional revenue it is still raining, not quite a hurricane yet. If the public continues to not pass levies it will continue to get worse, but the board has done a good job of balancing the budget by prioritizing cuts and has so far avoided major cuts that will have adverse impacts on the students.

          • jeancalvinus posted at 10:47 am on Wed, May 9, 2012.

            jeancalvinus Posts: 327


            I forgot to add "good post." Yes we don't agree on most of this, but you still make consistently good posts.

          • jeancalvinus posted at 10:44 am on Wed, May 9, 2012.

            jeancalvinus Posts: 327


            I think some would draw the distinction between "repairs are needed because the buildings exist and we must keep them up" and "you didn't need a new high school to begin with, now you want double the money to pay for two, we say no because we don't support two schools."

            I do not know where Interested1 stands, he may have a different reason. As you pointed out, mine is well known.

            I will say that if the district does not perform the repairs by cutting somewhere else, it may be seen as crying wolf. The thinking goes that the repairs aren't desperately needed unless you take desperate measures to do them if we shut down the levy renewal. At a certain level, the school board may want to call the public's bluff and slash the budget drastically and make some of these repairs. This will cause someone's ox to be gored, and then there will be an outcry, and then the debate will have to get settled.

            Face it folks, the school board won't act to cut salaries because they are scared to DEATH of the teachers union (besides, the salaries are a contract issue, and I don't know when that is up again, although I think it may be soon). The teachers union controls the vast majority of the budget, so the only way to pay for these repairs is to cut somewhere else, and that means extra-curriculars. The last time the school board faced that choice, they spent their savings because they were surprised by the backlash.

            Can't remember his last name, but the words of Tom, a school board member, have come back to haunt him LIKE I SAID they would. "This is the rainy day, let's spend the money" he said after the last levy failed. Well Tom, the money's gone, and it aint raining no more--it's a HURRICANE. What are you going to do now?

            I wonder if Schottle gets let go over this. There have been more failed levies on her watch than any other since the 70's.

          • interested1 posted at 10:36 am on Wed, May 9, 2012.

            interested1 Posts: 31

            My comments are directed to the Somers/Lakeside bond. I am aware first hand of the needs @ FHS, and it did get my vote.

          • flyfish posted at 10:06 am on Wed, May 9, 2012.

            flyfish Posts: 189

            Interested 1,
            There are over $6 million in desperately needed repairs at FHS alone, you could have taken the tour to get just a glimpse of some of them. Besides FHS this building reserve money would also support Linderman which has both Laser and Bridge, Legends stadium, Central office, Central Supply and Glacier. The first building reserve was passed in 1984 and was renewed every 5 years by the taxpayers until 2009. The intent of this levy was to have a steady source of revenue year after year to pay for building maintenance and repair along with technology.This money was kept seperate from the general budget so that employee wage and benefits had no bearing on it. Now because of its failure the amount of money spent on buildings and technoloy is determined by what is left in the general budget. As jeancalvinus stated 90% of the budget goes to wages and benefits, leaving very little for everything else.
            The question I have is, what more could the district do to help you understand where this money would go. The budget is on the website and all expenses are listed, and itemized. If you voted against this levy because you feel that teachers make to much money just state it like jeancalvinus has, that is more honest than trying to make a case that this money is not needed.

          • 888111 posted at 9:41 am on Wed, May 9, 2012.

            888111 Posts: 541

            hey the people of the valley have given the school districts very nice schools,look around ,whitefish,columbia falls,kalispell,almost palaces,now when times are hard they still want more and more,i say stfu,and deal with the shortcomings,be thankful the state bailed your retirement plan out,thats fantasy land as far as i'm concerned ,people in the private sector wish they ever had it so good,

          • interested1 posted at 9:16 am on Wed, May 9, 2012.

            interested1 Posts: 31

            Which is more ignorant: reject something you know nothing about, or ask for something with no intelligent explanation of why you need it?

          • jeancalvinus posted at 9:07 am on Wed, May 9, 2012.

            jeancalvinus Posts: 327

            Interested1, it is permissible to work in the school system WITHOUT joining the teacher's union. There are a few between Glacier and Flathead. They get a lot of grief, and one must not have a week stomach, but you can teach and stay out of that cesspool called the teacher's union.

          • jeancalvinus posted at 9:03 am on Wed, May 9, 2012.

            jeancalvinus Posts: 327

            To put it bluntly, the teachers union would rather see the kids in school with no furnace and a gaping hole in the roof than see any of their pay and benefits get cut. It is the union mentality, especially in public sector unions.

            And spare me the "pass the levy or else ignorance runs supreme" rhetoric. Glacier and Flathead will both be open this fall.

          • jeancalvinus posted at 9:00 am on Wed, May 9, 2012.

            jeancalvinus Posts: 327

            Photoguy, the first time the building reserve levy was rejected, I went to a board meeting, and they discussed bringing the issue right back to the voters a month or two later. They thought better of it and waited, but it bears pointing out that they are able to call a levy vote ANYTIME they want. This one was real close, so in my opinion they will do just that, before the summer is over.

            The regrettable thing in all of this is that there will likely be no true introspection and reflection over the current fiscal climate, no examination of WHY we turned it down for the third time, and no substantive attempt to rework the budget. It is VERY likely a PR firm will be hired, a PR campaign started, and a new levy brought.

            There are two elephants in this room. First, folks are still angry about the gold plated new high school. A more austere physical plant would have bought more long term goodwill. Second, pay and benefits are over 90% of the SD5 budget. For any repairs to be made out of the general fund, they will have to cut in that area. They are terrified of the teachers union, and will not do that.

            I am very surprised the levy failed (although I am relieved). I hope the message gets through, but I fear it will take another 3 years of failed levies before that happens. THAT is not going to happen. The guilt trip levy campaign is going to be next.

          • flyfish posted at 8:39 am on Wed, May 9, 2012.

            flyfish Posts: 189

            "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance". -Jean Vanier

            Now that the High School levy has failed it leaves the district two options.
            1- Take needed money from the general budget and use it for the most pressing repairs. This will result in either a loss of personel in the classroom or reduction of programs or activities.
            2- Forstall repairs so that minor problems become major expensive problems, and the existing major problems turn into problems that could cause parts of FHS to become unusable.

            As for most of the anti-levy posters on her I have one more quote for you.

            "The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you know nothing about"- unkown

          • Citizen13 posted at 7:39 am on Wed, May 9, 2012.

            Citizen13 Posts: 7

            Contracting outside help? Really? They literally don't even have enough money to keep a roof over their heads, maybe it is time the tax payers started listening to the students.

          • Mommy Dearest posted at 7:38 am on Wed, May 9, 2012.

            Mommy Dearest Posts: 845

            It goes to show most of the time citizens are willing to pay for necessities but not for levies and reserve funds.

          • interested1 posted at 5:20 am on Wed, May 9, 2012.

            interested1 Posts: 31

            Somers/Lakeside did a particularity poor job requesting their bond. They asked for too much; it was unallocated; and it had no sunset. You simply cannot ask for so much without demonstrating a need. Look at the other bonds that passed: modest requests. Will the new LIBERAL Somers board be forced to re-nogotiate the AUTOMATIC raises with the union? I suspect and hope so. I know I do not get automatic raises in the real world. Remember who a school board answers to: both the kids and the taxpayers. Teachers ask yourself: What has that union done for you lately? Here is the root of the problem with Montana's education system. Right-to-work is coming to Montana soon, just as it has in EVERY neighboring state.

          • Homeboy posted at 1:30 am on Wed, May 9, 2012.

            Homeboy Posts: 95

            Do school boards ever contract outside help? They need a better PR campaign. Is Donnie Clapp ready to try something new? Maybe he wants to move back to the Flathead?

          • photoguy posted at 11:33 pm on Tue, May 8, 2012.

            photoguy Posts: 938

            Well I guess this proves, the third time is not a charm...

            You need to look within and change the way you manage money..

            3 times now, how many times are you going to ignore those who pay the bills?


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