I usually don't get too local on this site because I actually don't get very many visitors from Southeastern Ohio. Because of this (and because I find it more interesting) I usually try and stick to issues that effect large areas of South Eastern Ohio but this is just too important.
My local school board has been trying to sneak through an effort two split the local school district (Switzerland of Ohio) into three smaller districts. I believe that they've kept this effort under wraps to try to avoid opposition and until now it's worked. The issue came to light some time ago but people found it so laughable that they believed it would never happen but behind the scenes two small groups have been working with members of the school board in an effort to make it happen. Because no one knew about it there was never any vocal opposition to it. Because there was never any vocal opposition to it they've managed to convince people that they have the support of the entire population. They've even convinced the state board of education to do a fast track feasibility study on their deconsolidation plan and our state representative, Jennifer Garrison, promising to change legislation to make deconsolidation easier.
There's just one problem, there is opposition to it. Late this week the local school board held a special session to vote on a resolution supporting deconsolidation before the state feasibility study has even been finished. The announcement that ran in the newspaper the day before the meeting was the first time that most people had heard about deconsolidation in months and in fact a lot of people still don't know yet.
Before the meeting, in an effort to confuse people, the wife of the school board member that introduced the resolution repeatedly told people opposed to deconsolidation that the board wouldn't be voting on anything that night. I actually have an audio recording of her arguing with someone that pointed out the vote on the resolution was even written in the agenda handed out to people that attended.
In the end the vote actually didn't take place because of the lack of a second. Though four of the five board members are already on the record as supporting deconsolidation, three of them were too nervous to support it in the face of the opposition and resolution had received from the people attending the meeting.
Now for full disclosure my mother, uncle, and sister teach in this district and deconsolidation would probably mean that they would lose their seniority (my mother has taught in this district for over 30 years) and their already low pay (compared to other teachers) would be further reduced. I also want to mention that in recent years the teachers in the district went for 9 years without a raise to help pull the school district out of debt, this isn't just about teachers not willing to take a hit to their pay. This is about things like paying for three superintendents or operating three bus fleets and garages instead of one with money that should be going towards teaching kids in an already poor school district. I think that most reasonable people can support that.
I'll have more on this situation in the coming days.