Watchdog Report:  June 22, 2013


  • According to its May 2013 Financial Forecast, the Board expects to have about $9 million at the end of this fiscal year (which ends June 30).
  • Also according to the Forecast, the Board expects tax revenues (which includes grants) to increase about $4.9 over the next four years (FY14-FY17). See "Financial Forecasts" below.
  • Clearly, the Board has FAR MORE THAN ENOUGH money to reinstate busing!
  • The Board does not intend to reinstate busing until voters pass a “new money” levy. (source:  Board member comments at meetings, most recently at the May 28, 2013 meeting)


  • According to its May 2013 Financial Forecast, the Board expects to have about $9 million at the end of this fiscal year (which ends June 30). 
  • Also according to the Forecast, the Board expects tax revenues (which includes grants) to increase about $4.9 over the next four years (FY14-FY17). See "Financial Forecasts" below.
  • Clearly, the Board has FAR MORE THAN ENOUGH money to reinstate busing AND eliminate pay-to-participate!
  • We can expect the Board to use pay-to-participate (and busing) as leverage for a “new money” levy.


  • Much of the teacher salary data on the Buckeye Institute and the State Treasurer’s websites is incorrect (based on public records documenting teachers’ salaries such as union contracts, salary notices, and payroll reports).   The errors contained on the Buckeye Institute and Treasurer’s websites originate from incorrect information BBHCSD provided to the Ohio Department of Education.
  • In many cases, the data showing the number of days worked or the number of hours worked for their salaries are incorrect.  For example, the data may show a teacher’s work day as 7 hours with a salary of $40,000.  The teacher’s salary would be correct, but the teacher’s work day was actually 3.5 hours, not 7.  In this case, the salary would be understated. Here’s another example:  the data may show a teacher salary of $40,000 for 186 days.  The salary may be correct, but the salary was based on that teacher working 190 days, not 186.  In this case, the salary would be overstated.  And, in some cases, the number of days and hours worked are correct, but the salary is incorrect---understated by more than $20,000-$30,000.  Of all the "salary" figures reported for 2007-2012, I found only 25 that were reported as being higher than the actual salary (by about $500-$1,600--average $875), and those were all reported for 2010.
  • In Dec. 2011, I brought it to the attention of the Treasurer, the Superintendent, and the Board that BBHCSD was reporting to ODE incorrect information concerning teachers' salaries.  They did nothing about that.
  • In June 2012, the District AGAIN reported to ODE incorrect information concerning teachers' salaries for FY 2012.
  • Based on past practice going back at least six years, we can expect BBHCSD to continue to report to the Ohio Dep't of Education incorrect information concerning teachers' salaries.


  • The Board approved an addendum to the contract that changes the way teachers’ share (as opposed to taxpayers’ share) of contributions to their retirement funds are paid.  Currently, teachers’ pay their share AFTER taxes.  Beginning July 1, 2013 (2013-2014 school year), teachers will pay their share BEFORE taxes.  The addendum calls this a “salary reduction”—but that is VERY MISLEADING!  There are NO CUTS IN TEACHERS’ SALARIES in the contract—or in the addendum.
  • DON’T BE FOOLED:  The teachers’ salaries are the figures shown on the salary schedule (this is the salary figure the District SHOULD report to ODE) —NOT the salary shown on the salary schedule MINUS their contribution to their retirement! 


  • Enrollment is projected to drop nearly 1000 students over a 10-year period of time (FY08-FY18)  GO
  • Due to rapidly declining enrollment, the Board is currently researching its ability to CLOSE Central School, or a different building---even though prior to Election Day (May 7, 2013) when voters were asked to approve a continuing levy, the Board denied any discussions of closing a school or building.  Immediately after the voters approved the levy, the Board, on May 8, again raised the issue of closing a school.  


  • The Board points to the Financial Forecast to make a case for the need for a levy.  The Forecasts ALWAYS APPEAR gloomier than the finances end up actually being—because revenues were understated and/or expenditures were overstated AND because the “cash balance” line item (and line 6.010 which shows deficit spending) assumes renewal levies won’t pass!
  • Renewal levies have historically passed by large margins.  Since 1957 (56 years ago), only TWO renewal levies failed (35 years ago and 52 years ago).  The Board is so confident in the passage of renewal levies that it can “certify” union contracts even when increases in those contracts depend on the passage of those renewal levies.  (The Board cannot certify contracts that depend on the passage of “new money” tax levies.)
  • SEE LINE 12.010 on the Forecast (Fund Balance for Certification of Contracts, Salary, and Other Obligations).  Because this line item assumes the passage of renewal levies, this is the line item that shows the truest amount of money the Board expects to have in the future—NOT the “cash balance” line item which assumes renewal levies fail.
  • Assuming the last two remaining renewal levies pass (line 11.020), TAX revenues (which includes grants)  are projected to increase about $4.9 million over the next four years (FY14-FY17)—yet, the Board won’t reinstate busing until voters pass a “new money” levy!   (GO)


  • The Board wants its last two remaining renewal levies (both dual purpose) to be converted to “continuing” FOREVER levies.  To find out why voters should reject "continuing" FOREVER levies, go here.
  • Renewal levy to be on the November 2013 ballot as a "continuing" FOREVER levy!
  • The Board is also planning to ask the voters to pass a “new money” operating levy—even though THE BOARD ALREADY HAS MORE THAN ENOUGH MONEY TO OPERATE OUR SCHOOLS!
  • Mark Dosen and Michael Ziegler campaigned that they would support a “new money” levy AFTER there were “rollbacks” to the salary increases that caused deficit spending.  So far, there have not been any “rollbacks” in salaries—and instead, salaries have increased!  Both Mr. Dosen and Mr. Ziegler have broken their campaign promises by currently supporting a “new money” tax levy.
  • The Board is also planning to ask the voters to pass a tens-of-millions-of-dollars bond issue to update the buildings. 




  • At the start of 2012-2013, our teachers’ average salary was $79,488, and they had an average of 15 years experience.  (source:  BEA contract, teachers’ salary notices, and payroll reports)  Keep in mind, the “step” level teachers were at is NOT their years of past experience.  That number represents years of experience PLUS one (1).  For example, brand new teachers with absolutely no experience are paid a “step 1” salary.  Then, after having 1 year of experience, they begin to be paid a “step 2” salary.
  • The Board’s May 2013 forecast projections show that after the current union contracts expire, the Board is planning to provide HUGE increases in the next contracts!
  • Board plans to spend, and spend, and spend even more—despite declining enrollment and reduction in staff.  (GO

THE BOARD ALREADY HAS SECRET PLANS TO IMPLEMENT ALL-DAY EVERY DAY KINDERGARTEN (currently, the kindergarten schedule is 2 full days and 1 half-day) 

  • The Board ALREADY HAS SECRET PLANS to implement all-day every day kindergarten. (source: Superintendent memo to Board, Feb. 8, 2013)  All-day everyday kindergarten was discussed behind closed doors when it should have been discussed in public!  See  point below.
  • I do not know anything about these PLANS because the Board did not discuss their plans, let alone even mention these plans--during a PUBLIC meeting.  Even though Ohio law prohibits the Board from making plans for all-day every day kindergarten during private Executive Sessions, and requires such plans to be discussed in PUBLIC--the Board made its plans for all-day every day kindergarten during Executive Sessions AFTER it announced to the public that it was entering Executive Session to discuss “the employment of a public employee” and/or “negotiations.”  (source:  Superintendent memos to Board, Sept. 7, 2012, Jan, 18, 2013, Feb. 8, 2013)  The Board misrepresented to the public the purpose of its meeting behind closed doors.
  • Here’s what I do know:  Two years ago, the Board decided to change the Kindergarten schedule from 5 one-half days (M-F) to 2 full days and 1 half day (M-W-F or T-Th-F).  Teachers were not happy with the schedule change because they believed it would be better to have 5 consecutive days with young children (especially for teaching reading).
  • Apparently, the Board’s solution to whatever problems there are with the 2 ½ day program (problems the Board created) is NOT to revert back to a 5 one-half day schedule—but to implement an expensive ALL-DAY EVERY DAY kindergarten program.
  • An all-day every day kindergarten program would require hiring more kindergarten teachers—which, in turn, would obviously increase the Board’s expenses.
  • After searching diligently, I have not been able to find ANY research showing long-term benefits for students who participate in all-day every day kindergarten.


  • Apparently, our teachers’ advanced degrees, additional credit hours beyond their advanced degrees, “master teacher” credentials, professional learning communities, team leaders, department chairs, mentors, waiver days supposedly for professional development, planning time, collaboration time, and, according to Ohio Dep't of Education, being paid the 4th highest average salaries ($79,078) in 2011-2012  —ARE NOT ENOUGH!  
  • Superintendent Prebles would like taxpayers to pay 4 additional teachers to HELP OUR CURRENT TEACHERS do the jobs taxpayers already pay teachers and administrators to do!
  • According to Superintendent Prebles (board meeting, May 28, 2013), these new “Curriculum and Instructional Support” teachers would NOT TEACH STUDENTS, but, rather, would do the following:
    • Support teachers
    • Provide leadership in departments
    • Help current team leaders and department chairs
    • Mentor teachers, and help teacher mentors with mentoring
    • Be a “conduit” between the teachers and the Director of Curriculum and Instruction
    • Help teachers with their “professional learning communities”
    • Help teachers with professional development
    • Help teachers find resources for teaching strategies
    • Offer teachers feedback and suggestions for improvement, but will NOT “evaluate” teachers
    • Help teachers collaborate
    • Help teachers plan and conduct meetings
    • Help teachers with trainings
    • “Help change, help move change along”
    • “Keep things moving.  Make sure materials are on the tables and accessible.  Make sure emails are being sent. Make sure coordination of the meetings is happening.  Making sure all things necessary to move forward are in place.”
    •  “Make more robust what you’re trying to accomplish in classrooms.”
  • This is what Board members said (May 28, 2013) the “Curriculum and Instruction Support” teachers would do:
    • “Coach and guide” teachers —Board member, Mark Dosen
    • “They exist for the teacher.  They help teachers teach.” —Board member, Kathleen Mack