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GCCS Referendum for $119 Million


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#41 Big Bopper

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Posted 08 May 2015 - 02:59 PM

I believe that we owe our children the best education possible.  The building is not what will do that.

All someone has to do is, do a study, and they will bite hook line and sinker.  They need to put the students first and not the bells and whistles.

 

Look at who gets the lion share of all the property taxes.  It is the school systems.  If I am not mistaken, they receive around 60% of your tax money.

Now they want more and when this is completed they will want even more.  They have no interest in community pride or tradition.

Mr. Melon, how much do you make a year including your perks?  How about you making a sacrifice and take a huge pay cut.  I know that it would be so hard for you to live on a mere $100,000 a year. that would be such a sacrifice.

Let's forget about the glitz and glamour and put the emphasis in the class rooms.  Our heritage and traditions mean far more than you and your lofty

goals of Taj Mahal buildings.

 

Look for waste and savings before you ask for more.  It was stated in the paper that Mr. Melon has gone to all of the Redevelopment Commissions, looking for a handout.  Asking for huge sums of money.  Now a referendum and that won't be the end.

We need to send a loud and resounding message, enough is enough.


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#42 Donna

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Posted 08 May 2015 - 05:34 PM

"Stinky, dirty, smelly, run down" . . . what schools are you talking about, keeping it real? 


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#43 Donna

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Posted 08 May 2015 - 05:54 PM

Neighborhood schools, especially elementary, are needed for the kids, parents and the neighborhoods.  Young children are especially needful of a sense of community, belonging.  It helps kids develop leadership skills, participate in extra-curricular activities, access to local amenities (i.e. Boys & Girls Club, summer nutritional programs) and transportation issues. 

 

These kids, OUR kids, need to be able to walk/bike to their schools with a sense of belonging.  Parents need that to happen, (especially those off bus lines.)  What parent wants to move into an area where their children will be bussed elsewhere for school?

 

A new middle school . . . in the heart of industry and warehouses . . . what is Melin thinking? 

 

I'll sign on to fight this abomination! 


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#44 toomanytoofew

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Posted 09 May 2015 - 11:16 PM

I attended Eastlawn and Middle Road elementary, Parkview and Jeff High. Middle Road was built in the 1920's I believe, and has since been turned into condos. it was not fancy, but the principal and teachers were some of the best. They had a couple that liked to "discipline" the students but I think we turned out okay. I think the problem with GCCS is quality of teachers(somewhat), quality of curriculum, and the general penal institution that Jeff High has become. If you're not in Honors classes, the teacher has little control over the classroom. The other thing that's rarely mentioned, is the lack of parental involvement for so many kids. New and nicer buildings will not  change what's going on at home.

I can agree with you on the Honor classes at Jeff HIgh. My daughter was very happy to get into. When I asked her why she said "because I can concentrate better, the students in  honor classes all actually WANT to learn. In other classes, as long as you don't cuss at the teacher you'll pass but you won't learn much".



#45 toomanytoofew

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Posted 09 May 2015 - 11:27 PM

Neighborhood schools, especially elementary, are needed for the kids, parents and the neighborhoods.  Young children are especially needful of a sense of community, belonging.  It helps kids develop leadership skills, participate in extra-curricular activities, access to local amenities (i.e. Boys & Girls Club, summer nutritional programs) and transportation issues. 

 

These kids, OUR kids, need to be able to walk/bike to their schools with a sense of belonging.  Parents need that to happen, (especially those off bus lines.)  What parent wants to move into an area where their children will be bussed elsewhere for school?

 

A new middle school . . . in the heart of industry and warehouses . . . what is Melin thinking? 

 

I'll sign on to fight this abomination! 

 

 

I agree with neighborhood schools student do need to walk/bike to school. But I live in the Maple area and alot of students are driven day in and day out, because some parents just don't want to have their kids walk (in 3 years we have had alot of near misses from people in a hurry to get to work and not stopping at stop signs) and it just being easier on parents to just drop em off via car. This may pass from a lazy parent viewpoint - "if I ok this my kids will ride a bus, one less thing for me to do in the am".

 

I do not think Jeff can afford a "project" this big right now, not with the sewer projects still not totally finished yet and funds running out for that as well.


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#46 IntegrityMatters

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Posted 10 May 2015 - 08:55 AM

A friend of mine just posted the following on Facebook. Thought I would share on Chatter as it is spot on.



"Why would the admin sit on the study so long, refuse open record requests and hire a consultant to promote the tax increase almost a year before they revealed the plans to the public? Was the ORIGINAL study released at the last board meeting or an edited version? If the consultant was NOT to be considered an employee of Greater Clark as the agreement clearly states then why was his contract slipped into "personnel" and voted on by the board with no discussion? If this is such a good plan then why all the secrecy for the past year and a half?


It's kind of a bitter pill to think that taxpayer money was used for the initial study and then the results were withheld from them. Taxpayer money was again used to somewhat secretly hire a consultant to convince taxpayers to give more money.

If this was something the admin and board (of 1 year ago) truly believed in so much they sure went to a lot of trouble to taint it and make it look like a sneak attack on the voters. Did they think nobody would bother to check these things out?" (End of Facebook quote)
.


The GCCS website has a link to what they call the "Full" report. BEWARE -- this is NOT the full report at all. It is merely a power point presentation of what they want the taxpayers to see --- what will support their illustrious plan. The FULL report is approximately 300 pages in length and it has been denied to both the media and individuals. This is deceptive --- what is actually in the FULL, UNABRIDGED, ORIGINAL report? What is it that they don't want us to see? WHERE IS THE TRANSPARENCY??? The Board should be hanging their heads in shame for trying to deceive the public like this. "Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive."

Edited by IntegrityMatters, 10 May 2015 - 08:56 AM.

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#47 IntegrityMatters

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Posted 10 May 2015 - 09:02 AM

Just noticed that GCCS has removed the word "Full" from their link --- someone must be reading Chatter!!
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#48 IntegrityMatters

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Posted 10 May 2015 - 03:04 PM

The consultant was hired in June 2014 --- almost a year ago. His agreement for services was passed by the Board on July 9th, 2014 and signed by Mark Pavey and Jerry White. This agreement was approved under the Consent Agenda -- with no discussion -- no questions -- nothing. It was slipped under the radar of unsuspecting taxpayers by calling it "Personnel - Other - Communications Consultant Approval". The narrative merely said that "The superintendent recommends engaging the services of a communications consultant. A communications consultant is needed to provide assistance for the promotion of future development efforts in Greater Clark." The contract was not attached to the board docs and no further description of the contract was given.

Today, I looked at the Board Docs again. Mysteriously, the contract that I posted above has now been attached to the agenda even though it was hidden from the public for a year.

What is going on here?? Will any board member come forth with the truth? How are we to trust anyone? Are we just expected to cough up $119 million because that is what this admin wants? Are we to close 5 schools and destroy communities? How on earth is this good for Jeffersonville or good for students?

I believe when Pavey and White first ran for school board that they formed a committee called "Ethics and Transparency in Clark County". Where is the ethics now? Where is the transparency?
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#49 kelley

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Posted 10 May 2015 - 03:15 PM

Hilarious that they're adapting as you post.

At least we don't have to worry no one is paying attention, lol.
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#50 IntegrityMatters

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Posted 10 May 2015 - 03:29 PM

Klink has developed a "campaign plan" according to his agreement -- he has helped form a referendum committee, a campaign budget and timeline. He has developed and proposed campaign materials including paid media and earned media. He has had meetings with school representatives, board, and committees. He will maintain and propose the campaign calendar. He will coordinate campaign operations and coordinate campaign equipment, facilities and voter database." Since his contract expires on May 15, 2015, the items mentioned above have apparently already been done. They are ready to go with an advertising blitz to push this referendum through in November -- while leaving the rest of us in the dark for over a year. And they still refuse to release the complete, unabridged, unedited facility study that was completed in January 2014. Melin says in his report to the Board that "it is not fair" that students don't have adequate facilities... in fact, he says "it is not fair" more than once. I wonder if he thinks it is fair that he and the Board have planned this in secret for over a year and will now try to slip this through to unwary taxpayers in a few short months. Is that fair?

The Board will meet on May 19th and then again on June 9th. According to Melin, they will vote to approve/disapprove his proposal on June 9th. I am going to make a prediction. First, we all know that the Board will approve this plan. There is no doubt. But I predict that the Board will ask Melin to revise the plan downward and ask taxpayers for a lesser sum -- probably somewhere in the neighborhood of $90 million or so. This will then look like the Board is performing their due diligence and looking out for the taxpayer. But I have a feeling, if this occurs, that it is all part of the elaborate "plan" that is being staged to make us think this is good for the students and good for us. Let's see if my prediction comes true!

Edited by IntegrityMatters, 10 May 2015 - 03:34 PM.

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#51 Avid Reader

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Posted 10 May 2015 - 04:40 PM

I wonder how much the consulting contract cost the taxpayers and how much money has been allocated to the media blitz and mailings? Could that money have not gone toward fixing some of the building issues cited in the report?


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#52 IntegrityMatters

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Posted 10 May 2015 - 04:47 PM

Kovert Hawkins was paid slightly over $120,000 for the facility study. Steve Klink has been paid $50,000 so far but will receive $5000 more if referendum(s) pass. The campaign money is supposed to come through the committee which will be raising funds from the public - not the school system -- if they follow the regulations. It is my understanding that once this resolution is passed by the board, they cannot use any taxpayer dollars to market it. That is why Klink was hired beforehand -- and has received his $50,000 already. Any further work done by Klink between May 15th and the election should come from funds raised by the referendum committee. Once the board votes on June 9th, they are not supposed to use any more school corporation dollars.

Edited by IntegrityMatters, 10 May 2015 - 04:50 PM.

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#53 fellow educator

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 07:42 PM

I suggest you do your research on this report and talk to students and staff alike. CMS is horrible not only to teach in with no walls or doors as a teacher but as a student trying to concentrate I dont honestly know how they can learn no matter how great the staff is. They have so many challenges in front of them and the noise and distractions are huge within that building. Also each time it rains the roof leaks all over the locker bay and other areas of the school. Our students deserve better than this. Some of the schools have mold issues. Talk to staff and students and see how this dramactically effects their health. It does!!!! Someone wrote a comment in one of the media pieces this needs to be done over 20 years, our kids cannot wait twenty years for these repairs to take place. Most schools it would cost more to renovate then rebuild. Please educate yourself, read the report, all the details, and think about the future of our community and our students who are our future! Then make your decision!



#54 fellow educator

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 07:49 PM

anyone willing to get educated and helping organize an effort to support this let me know I will help!!!!



#55 rosietheriveter

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 07:56 PM

Fellow Educator,
I requested the Kovert Hawkins feasibility study and was denied with an email reply stating "Will not release study under IC 5-14-3-4-(b)(6) Records that are intra-agency or interagency advisory or deliberative material, including material developed by a private contractor under a contract with a public agency, that are expressions of opinion or are of a speculative nature, and that are communicated for the purpose of decision making

If you have access to it please contact me.
Kelly Khuri
502-296-4226
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#56 kelley

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 08:01 PM

Leaks can be fixed and mold remediated. It'd hard to understand how open concept spaces are a crisis now when kids learned in those environments for years and it's not really that complicated or expensive to make a large space into several smaller ones.
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#57 IntegrityMatters

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 08:32 PM

Fellow Educator -- we would be glad to "do the research on the report", but unfortunately they refuse to release it. A complaint has been filed with the Public Access Counselor in an effort to get a copy of the original report. How do you think anyone can read or research a report that is being kept secret?

I agree with Kelley -- mold (if it exists) can be fixed and it should be fixed NOW --- this report has been in the admin's hands since January 2014. If mold was identified, why haven't they done something to address it before now. It should have been taken care of a long time ago -- not rely on a lengthy referendum process to possibly address it. By the time the referendum passes -- if it does --- it will be well over 2 years since "mold" was identified. Surely the admin/Board wouldn't allow this to exist for this period of time while they spend $4.5 million on a radio station. That would be pure negligence in my opinion.

The open concept classrooms have been around for a long time. My granddaughter went to Northaven for six years and did extremely well -- the open concept was no problem. One of the top performing middle schools in Jefferson County is an open concept school. But if the admin really wants walls, then build walls. But it is not necessary to build an entirely new school.

No one is saying that renovations aren't needed in some schools. Renovations occur every year -- and bonds can be issued without a referendum for up to $2 million per project I believe. If there is mold as you say, then it should have been taken care of long ago. This is not the time to address mold.

p.s. if the maintenance staff can't take care of the roof, then it should be repaired or replaced and, if necessary, a bond issued to cover the cost. I am sure it would be less than $2 million.

Edited by IntegrityMatters, 11 May 2015 - 08:39 PM.

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#58 kelley

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 08:37 PM

I suggest you do your research on this report and talk to students and staff alike. CMS is horrible not only to teach in with no walls or doors as a teacher but as a student trying to concentrate I dont honestly know how they can learn no matter how great the staff is. They have so many challenges in front of them and the noise and distractions are huge within that building. Also each time it rains the roof leaks all over the locker bay and other areas of the school. Our students deserve better than this. Some of the schools have mold issues. Talk to staff and students and see how this dramactically effects their health. It does!!!! Someone wrote a comment in one of the media pieces this needs to be done over 20 years, our kids cannot wait twenty years for these repairs to take place. Most schools it would cost more to renovate then rebuild. Please educate yourself, read the report, all the details, and think about the future of our community and our students who are our future! Then make your decision!



Which schools have mold issues? Is there documentation showing the adminstration has known about this for some time?

#59 Avid Reader

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 09:01 PM

Perhaps the mold at CMS should have been attended to before a radio tower was built at CHS? 


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#60 Little Pickle

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 09:36 PM

Slightly off topic in a way, I guess...but what I see in the future is downtown Jeff will someday be known as old Jeff; much like the original Clarksville is now fondly known as old Clarksville. Keep moving east, Jeff, and fail to maintain your downtown.  Take away their schools and their sense of community and sit back and watch those areas dry up. Keep moving the town east; make it better; leave "those people" behind...

DonnaK - this is really not too much off topic.  It is stunning to see Jeffersonville education officials recommend steps that would help turn Jeffersonville into what is west Louisville looks like now.  Rather that encourage redevelopment and shoring up a key part of our community, they are encouraging abandonment of property, encouraging people to move from their neighborhoods, encouraging actions that in the long run will be devastating for any efforts that Jeffersonville might take to capitalize on the pedestrian bridge or the new bridge for that matter.  And you are so very correct, it is perceived that those people are something apart of "the rest of us".  One of the things that Jeffersonville has going for it, in competition with places like Louisville is the fact they have "neighborhood" schools.  Many of the people I worked with in Louisville would have to go through 40 kinds of hell trying to get their kids into a decent school due to busing and school assignment plan.  One of the biggest problems in addressing neighborhood decline is what to do with the vacant schools that are left behind.  Look how long Rose Hill has been vacant or at a minimum, under utilized.  A plan of this scope, with this kind of impact, should not be considered in a vacuum, but should be considered in conjunction with the comprehensive plan, the supposed "Regional Plan" and any housing/redevelopment/downtown planning efforts. 

 

Rather than spending all this money to build new schools (though in reality there may be a need to do some construction given what I am guessing will be an influx of residents once the bridge is completed) they need to invest in the neighborhoods surrounding the schools, invest in renovating the schools, invest in good curriculum and teachers and make sure that schools are an environment that is conducive to learning.  Kids don't need to be transported all over the place and our "inner" city neighborhoods certainly don't need what little life the schools give them sucked out and be left with vacant and abandoned eyesores. 


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