Why YOU need to run for School Board THIS YEAR!

Lots of things are important in life, it’s just that some things are more important than others. While it is important, and even exciting, for some to talk about all the Presidential candidates, the reality is that we are more impacted by out of control government locally than we are federally.  All the flawed policies, and wasteful spending, that the federal government implements, are implemented by your state and local government. Common Core being one egregious example.

Instead of taking up your time watching the “bright shiny object” of the Presidential races, particularly in 2015 when nothing they say changes anything, we need to recognize a critical opportunity to do something that is much more important and much more attainable in 2015.  We need You to run for school board in your local area.

Now it has always been important for your movement to try and take back our schools by taking over the school board and we have been successful in some case in doing that. However, this year the stakes are higher than ever.  Why?  Changes in the teachers retirement system.

The State Teachers Retirement System changed the rules a few years ago and is now going to calculate teacher and administrator retirement benefits based on the five highest years of income instead of the three highest years. The result being a lower base rate. Plus they have changed the rules about who can retire and when. The result being that many teachers who don’t retire in the next two or three years will lose approximately 11.5% of their annual income for life.  That’s a huge incentive for teachers and administrators to get out now and that is exactly what is happening.

Why is that important to Conservatives and why does it make winning school board seats more important now than it has ever been? Well as conservatives, we are concerned about taxation. A large part of our property taxes go to school districts. (Even if you rent, you pay the property taxes through your rent, the landlord doesn’t pay them!)  In 99% of school districts, those taxes only go up, they never come down. Even when we have less students, they spend it anyway.  While we have been successful in defeating some levy renewals, we have not had enough success, because the schools would often make a case that they could not survive any cuts because their expense kept going up. Uninformed people in the community believe it, and therefore, we have been able to defeat new levies but not renewal levies.  However, that is all about to change – if we take action NOW.

It is critical that we win school board seats this year, because all of these teacher and administrator retirements are going to save school districts millions of dollars in salaries. These retires are the highest paid employees in the schools and they are going to be replaced with young teachers who should cost about 40% of what the old teachers were making. So, for example, one school district in Portage County announced that they have 18 teachers retiring this year. Each of them cost the tax payer $100,000 per year or more in salary and benefits – yea the 20% you pay above their pay for health insurance and for their retirement that teachers like to pretend is not part of their salary. So, that school district is going to save $1.8 million next year and then only have to spend $720,000 to replace them. Saving $1.08 million per year for years to come. That is only the beginning because more teachers will be retiring next year and the year after that.  For this small district, the saving will come out to over $3 million per year! For big school districts, it could be much more!

Now, do you think the unions are going to let the school board give that money back to the taxpayers like they should?  Of course not, they are going to spend it all. They will be demanding not 3% annual raises but 5% or more until it is all gone – because the school board can afford it! Unless we act, the school board will do it, because they are all former teachers, the husbands or fathers of teachers or former administrators. Once again the fix will be in UNLESS we do something about it!

With these savings, school boards should be in a position to not even put some renewal levies on the ballot.  We will be able to argue for the first time that they don’t need the money because of all the retirements.  But it will be a lot easier if we are sitting on the school board with a majority and we can vote not to put the renewal on the ballot!  Otherwise they will keep putting them on the ballot multiple times and lying to the tax payers until they are passed despite the fact that they don’t need the money!

They are already laying the groundwork. One of the administrators in our area has already been quoted as saying “Districts will save money with the lower salaries of beginning teachers, but will have to increase the supervision and monitoring in the classroom”!  So, let’s get this straight. Even thought they graduated from college and are certified to teach, and the superintendent hired them because they are qualified to do the job they hired them to do, we are going to have to pay to hire more high paid administrators to “monitor” these new teacher because they really aren’t qualified! Got it?  Yea right.  This chart shows that the biggest problem in public schools in the ridiculous increase in non-teaching staff:

It gets worse. In Avon Lake Ohio the citizens were dumb enough to just pass a 10 year renewable levy!!  Isn’t that interesting. Why would they do that? Why would the school board recommend that? Well, now when all those teacher retire, they won’t have a levy come up for  renewal for 10 years, during which the Union will distribute all that money to teachers and administrators so when it comes up for renewal, they can plead poverty AGAIN!

This is why YOU must consider putting yourself on the ballot this year to run for School Board. If you are on the school board, you can decide how this money is spent, or if it is returned to the tax payers. The deadline is the first week of August to put your name on the ballot. You simply go to the Board of Elections and flll out a form. You may need a few signatures depending on your county, but never more than 5.  The election is in November. So, from August until November you have to get out and ask for the community to vote for you.

Now, School Board races are what they call Non-Partisan, meaning you don’t run as a Republican or Democrat or Libertarian. Second, most school board have five members.  Depending on your school board, their may be three seats up for re-election or there will be two.  When you run, all candidates are usually running for all the seats. So, if their are two open seats, the top two vote getters win the seats. We need to get as many of us to run as possible and even if you are not up to running, you need to find someone who will and help them win by going door to door for them and asking your neighbors to support them. Best of all, these are low cost races. You need some signs and materials to hand out when you go door to door and perhaps a robo call or two.

Just know, that the Union is thinking the same thing. They will use your tax dollars, extorted through forced Union dues, to fund their Union candidates. They have databases of every person in your community who will vote yes on just about any levy. They will work to turn out their vote for Union candidates and you have just got to out work them and take those seats.

I wanted to spell this out for you so that you had time to consider running, or to find someone to run who has great name recognition in your community and who you could support. This is why the TEA Party exists. To cut taxes and hold people we elect accountable so that they spend our hard earned taxes wisely.  This year is the year that we can really make a difference.  Litterally, in many cases, if you could cut property taxes by not renewing a levy, it could make the difference between a senior citizen on social securty being able to keep their home! They are being force to sell their homes because they can not affort the property taxes and their social security income has not been increase in years. Let’s make the choice to take back some of our money this year and help everyone in our community without hurting the students at all! Run for School Board!

Best Regards,

Tom Zawistowski

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