From the News Democrat:
To the editor:
On Sept. 25, Mike Riley, of Lake Waynoka wrote a letter about Issue 2 urging everyone to do their own research and then asked loaded questions like, "Who do you trust more, politicians of teachers?" I want to present some facts any of which you can Google (just be sure to use primary sources, not political ones) and my own loaded questions.
First, the money for public workers' health care and retirement benefits is not there. The only way to continue paying those benefits is a drastic tax hike on those of us who do pay taxes. I am a retired teacher and for years listened to my self-employed husband point out what a sweetheart benefits deal we teachers enjoyed. If a drastic tax hike does not pass in Ohio, assuming Issue 2 is repealed, then lay-offs of public workers will certainly follow. Hamilton County is talking about laying-off deputies, and Cincinnati was bailed out recently from a similar fate by temporary money from Washington. Private workers, most of whom have never enjoyed paid-for health care and retirement benefits, always foot the bill for public employees and their unions.
Second, all but three of Ohio's 88 counties' school districts are projecting huge deficits. (Ohio Department of Education at http://fyf.oecn.k12.oh.us/viewforecast) Local districts have eliminated busing, librarians, teachers,and free extra curricular activities. The answer from the Ohio Education Association was to charge teachers an extra $50 plus to fund the TV ad campaign against Issue 2. The ads say "could" result in fewer police, firemen, etc. The opposite is true. If Issue 2 is repealed, there will be lay-offs. The extra $50 was on top of the $800 union dues of the National Education Association which has already endorsed Obama for 2012 and contributed $50 million to his election in 2008.
Mr. Riley stated that school districts currently require teachers to pay 15 percent of their health care and 10 percent of their retirement. If that is so, why do we need Issue 2? He also states many schools are rated "excellent" by the state. (That reminds me of Garrison Keillor's "Lake Woe-Be-Gone, where all the children are above average.") If that is so, why are the SAT scores for the 2011 high school graduating class the lowest averages ever recorded in reading and writing? Only 43 percent of 1.6 million students who took the SAT (college entrance exam) scored high enough to indicate they were prepared for college. (Wall Street Journal, Sept. 15, 2011) According to Bill and Melinda Gates in another Wall Street Journal article, "Grading the Teachers," (Saturday/Sunday, Oct. 22-23, 2011) 98 percent of school teachers are rated "satisfactory." They state, "Clearly, rating systems that pass nearly everybody are a fraud." Clearly, reforms are needed. Issue 2 is a step in the right direction of returning decision making to local school boards, and ironically, to teachers themselves.
The NEA is on record stating they will put students first when students pay union dues. (NEA General Council Bob Chanin, July, 2009) (blo.heritage.org/2009/07/09/nea-general-council)
Mr. Riley sees Republicans trying to de-fund Democrats by depriving them of union money. Gov. Kasich set a meeting for the unions to negotiate issues. The unions boycotted. The lies and scare tactics in the union sponsored commercials frighten me. I know good people who believe everything their unions and their TV tell them. In solving Ohio's budget crises, whom do you believe, the union protesters who trashed the state house in Madison, Wis., and shouted down opposition, the union protesters in Columbus who also shouted down and did their best to intimidate the supporters of Issue 2 - or do you believe the politicians who endured that abuse and did the right thing any way?
Don't misunderstand me here. I am no fan of politicians. They are "the ruling class" and do not live like the "country class." But I do support Issue 2. It's time to get Ohio's financial house in order.
Vickie A. Warren
God bless teachers like Mrs. Warren. Her students were lucky to have her in the classroom. Unlike certain other SW Ohio teachers who do more HARM than good, throwing students in trashcans, encouraging them to live the same alternative lifestyles they do, and also on their social media pages showing pictures supporting anti-semitic groups like Occupy, etc. with fraudulent claims about 1% vs. 99%, Mrs. Warren uses researchable facts and not innuendo. She uses logic and not ignorance. God bless you, Mrs. Warren.