The March to Metro Consolidation

I thought that we had disposed of this discussion during the referendum a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, I can finally see what the end result of this MCS charter surrender will be. Over the past several weeks, the TPC has been delivering its educational recommendations to our board in pieces for review. As the price tag is attached to the educational priorities, we have found just to start that the TPC began some 200 million dollars in the hole. Through various cost-cutting measure like privatizing busses and custodial and other “efficiency measures”, they have cut the deficit to around 90 million.

Today, they submitted their “bloody” cuts like increasing student to teacher ratios and billing charter schools and other legislative changes.

They may be relatively polyannish in there cuts since many of these cuts directly impact MCS unions. These unions elect many of the MCS board members. Due to the fact that the TPC is comprised of many private industry executives, you can’t just cut without political implications. While I support all of the cuts and efforts to balance the budget and not increase taxes, most of my compadres on the board, do not. With that said, I foresee a budget shortfall of 150 million dollars, much directly attributed to merger efforts.

Looming on the horizon is the county commission and its funding issues. Interestingly enough, it takes a simple majority to approve of the SCS budget but a 2/3 vote to set the tax rate setting up a funding battle. So how do we close such a large budget gap with a locked county commission?  What services will the county cut? The answer will be: Metro Consolidation

Proponents of city-county consolidation will push a plan that will balance the budget with the new school system based upon savings by merging city and county government prompting another referendum. This time a merged school district plus the threat of skyrocketing taxes in the county and the creation on muni districts will have a direct impact on countywide dual referendum.

So the question is? Are muni districts an acceptable trade-off for increased leverage to accomplish metro consolidation? I would say that merger proponents would say so..

Concerning Kriner Cash

There has been alot of press lately about the push for the school board to  not extend or terminate Kriner Cash’s contract. There has been even more press in the community about there not being an open and transparent and fair process. So here goes open and transparent:

I have no idea what has transpired behind closed doors and what progress has been made toward a potential buy-out deal. I have no idea what Kriner Cash wants to do. I have no idea what he plans on doing.

Here is what I do know: He has a contract with the MCS that carries him through the end of next school year. At that point, the Superintendent of MCS goes away due to charter surrender. No reason to discuss and extensions or changes, in a year he will be gone.

John Aitken is on contract through 2015 to be the superintendent of the SCS. The only way to get rid of John would be to pay him the remainder of his contract.

I see no upside in buying out Cash’s contract. As a matter of fact, we need to put this to bed and not allow him use this district for his personal lottery. With that said, I have no plans to vote to approve any buyout. Let him finish his year and wish him God-speed.

I believe the haste in the push to remove Cash is driven by some belief that kicking him to the curb and extending John’s contract will stop some municipalities from starting their own districts. I beleive this to be faulty reasoning but if you notice these activities have quickened since municipalities have started voting.

I think it is important that you all understand my thinking on this and understand the context of these decisions before we begin voting. Based upon our policy, for Aitken’s contract to be extended, it will require a simple majority. Quite doable….  For Cash to get the job, he will need 2/3 of a majority. Almost Impossible…  

Unless…

Someone wants to make a deal on school buildings. HaHa!

But that is a different story…