Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Pigeon Comes Home To Roost

The message at the March 21, 2012 school board meeting was that the district does not have the money to fund all of the current educational programs. There are possible staff cuts and the reclassifying of full time teachers to part time.

Typically, board and the administration point the finger at the state for the financial problems. They claim the state does not properly fund education.

The truth of the matter lies in how the board wastes millions in non-academic pursuits.

The board spent $2,500,000 on an athletic complex. They incurred legal fees of $500,000 defending the non-payment to a middle school contractor.

The contractor not only received the $1,400,000 due, but with fines and interest the court awarded Amthor Steel another million.

Most recently, the district approved another refinancing scheme in order to hide the $6,000,000 buy out of an interest rate swaption. The board thought they could predict interest rates over a period of time and they lost.

The new arrangement tucks the $6,000,000 into debt, but leaves the prospect of another buy out nightmare in the next few years. They used another interest rate swaption to finance the swaption that went sour.

If school directors and the administration managed taxpayer funds in a judicious manner, they would not be facing the prospect of eliminating educational programs.

288 comments:

1 – 200 of 288   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Time for school board members to step down!! Mr. Heckman and Mr. Richards should be stepping down immediately.

Anonymous said...

The question we need to be asking is WHY the school board recklessly spent the taxpayers' money and why they continue to recklessly spend our money.

I think it's time for a forensic audit of the Oley School district. They have now entered into another swaption to get out of the swaption where they lost $6,000,000. They want to pare down the teaching staff, yet they entered into this new swaption with fees of approximately $200,000 on the same night that they brought up the teacher layoffs. How does that possibly make any sense?


ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

Anonymous said...

We should call the state auditor and demand an immediate investigation into how the Board has spent our money! What other shady deals do we not know about?

Anonymous said...

The board will continue to do what they do until the community elects a new board.

Anonymous said...

There really is something we can do before elections. They have thrown our money away. Isn't the swaption an arrangement through a bank that one of the board members work for? That alone is a red flag. Maybe the attorney general should be notified. They blame Harrisburg but Harrisburg didn't require a new track. Let's get them out!!

Anonymous said...

Yikes, I Googled Oley and found this blog. Informative. Will tell my neighbors.

Anonymous said...

why would you google Oley?

Anonymous said...

Is it against the law to Google Oley?

Anonymous said...

Interesting....

Anonymous said...

Governor Corbett tells people they should attend school board meetings to keep an eye on spending.
Not a bad idea.

Anonymous said...

The Reading Eagle reports the Reading School District wastes money.
Why don't they do a report on Oley?

homeowner said...

Reading Eagle reports the Oley School Board struggles to balance the budget.
This blog tells the community where the money has gone.

Anonymous said...

Another tax increase! Where do they think the money is coming from?

Anonymous said...

$140,000 salary for the new superintendent!
How much did they pay to Zachon?

Anonymous said...

It is in line with starting salaries of Superintendents everywhere else.

homeowner said...

"It is in line with starting salaries of Superintendents everywhere else."

Must be a school board member trying to defend the absurd.
A shrinking student enrollment does not justify spending more tax dollars for a superintendent.
Outrageous!

Anonymous said...

I wasn't agreeing with what they did, I was just stating a fact. I guess some people just don't like facts.

homeowner said...

The phrase "in line with" is not a fact but an opinion.
Present data that supports in line with and let blog readers determine whether paying $140,000 to a new superintendent is justified.

Anonymous said...

You waste your time beating a dead horse, I have better things to do. You must be new to the OVSD or you would know that what your opinion is really doesn't matter to this board. They do what they want, when they want and how they want.

Anonymous said...

The new Mifflin superintendent is making less than Dr. Shank and they have almost 3,000 more students.

Go figure.

Anonymous said...

This is very disappointing. The district is cutting education and waisting money.

Anonymous said...

Their solution? Give them more state and federal money so they can squander that, too. Sorry boys and girls but the gravy train is derailed.

Anonymous said...

The district has been doing this for the last 20 years. Where were we then and that includes myself.

We were not paying attention, living our lives and letting IDIOTS run our government and schools into the ground, changing requirements, dumbing down our children, so that now we have entire school districts filled with those who did not receive the same education that we did.

It is now time for all the corruptness and behind the door deal-making to stop.

Folks, if you don't wake up there won't be any soccer games or field hockey games or marching band or anything as long as you do not get involved.

Sitting back and letting someone else take care of the problem isn't working any more. We are headed for BIG TROUBLE and if we continue to let our current board be fiscally irresponsible, it's going to get worse. On the day they cut the teachers, they entered into another "swaption" to the tune of approximately $250,000 dollars, to hide the $6 million dollar loss in our current debt. The bottom line here is that we still owe this money and they gambled again, in spite of warnings from the Auditor General and in our wonderfully gracious current economy.

Anonymous said...

Senator Schwank had a meeting and she was non committal about property tax reform. We need new leadership in Harrisburg.

homeowner said...

Spineless Republicans trash property tax reform. They control Harrisburg, and they do nothing. Can you recall your representative? Other states can.

Anonymous said...

My Representative didn't vote to table the bill. In fact, he sponsored it. It's another example of the power of the PSEA and the fear they generate in the spineless Republicans down in the Philly suburbs.

Anonymous said...

Sticker Shock..got my school real estate tax bill...where do they think we find money to pay never ending tax increases ?

Anonymous said...

They don't care where you get the money. Just shut up and pay whatever they tell you to. They could care less if you have to sell your house.

homeowner said...

Either the union agrees to renegotiate their contract and pensions or the board should lay off more administrators and teachers to balance the budget.

Anonymous said...

I moved into the OVSD because of its excellent schools and relatively low taxes compared to the rest of Berks County. The cost of taxes is worth the investment in a quality education. It is not my intention to discredit anyone else's opinion, rather, just to share mine.

Anonymous said...

If only the tax dollars went toward education. The problem is how that money is spent. So many dollars have been squandered on legal matters that could have been avoided and legal bills to litigate lost causes. If that money had been spent on education the quality would be even higher and our taxes would have gone to worthwhile causes instead of lost causes.

homeowner said...

$125,000 for an assistant superintendent!! Are you serious?
What can the board be thinking..

Anonymous said...

That's the point, they don't think.

Anonymous said...

There is no reason to hire ANOTHER administrator. There is no increase in the number of students. The trend is down not up.
The current superintendent should be able to handle the responsibilities of a small school district.

Anonymous said...

The current superintendent did handle the responsibilities of the district for over a year.

Anonymous said...

Shank Hired a friend of a friend. Younkin is bad news.

Anonymous said...

How many people applied for the assistant superintendent's job? What were the other applicant's qualifications? Why was the new assistant superintendent selected over the others? Is there any cronyism involved? The $125,000 starting salary is high for a small school district. What are the benefits?

Oley Concerned Citizens said...

I attended the School Board Meeting of August 15,2012 and asked some questions regarding the recent hiring of the Assistant Superintendent.

My question was how could the board hire an administrator for $125,000 then justify laying lay off teachers.

The essence of the response was the Superintendent needed help and the position had been already budgeted.

In addition, the Superintendent said the teachers are overstaffed. There are teachers who are in study halls who should be in the classroom.

It is estimated that the inflation index will be lower for the 2013-2014 budget. This means the board will have to make more cuts to the budget.

Since the current mind set is that there are too many teachers, the cuts will likely come from staff.

After the meeting, Dr. Shank was kind enough to discuss my concerns regarding waste in the district. It was suggested that she also consider the abuse of teacher substitution.

There are far too many substitutes being contacted to cover absent teachers. This abuse is costly not only to tax payers but to students who are being short changed.



Oley Concerned Citizens said...

One additional piece of information. Student enrollment is projected to go down. This trend continues, yet the cost of education goes up...

Anonymous said...

In this morning's Reading Eagle it was reported that Spring Townsip hired 2 new policemen at a salary of $59,600 each. Oley hires an assistant superintendent at
$125,000. She must be really good to be worth twice what two cops are worth.

Anonymous said...

Act 1 has put the clamps on reckless spending.

Anonymous said...

Social Security will increase by 1.7%. Oley School District can increase their budget by 2%.
We slip farther and farther behind.

Anonymous said...

Oley's SAT scores going down? What have they been doing with all the taxes?

Michelle said...

Is anyone still moderating this blog?

Anonymous said...

Eight people running for school board. Anonymous hate mail circulating in the district. Are the good ole boys in trouble?

Anonymous said...

Who is running? How many open seats? Are there any candidate forums schedules? This forum could help us with more information on the candidates.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for answering my questions.

Michelle Obst said...

I am glad to see so many comments!
To answer some earlier questions:
"Who is running? How many open seats? Are there any candidate forums schedules? This forum could help us with more information on the candidates"

There are 4 open seats. The primary is May 21, 2013. There are no candidate forums scheduled-that I am aware of. The list of candidates for all districts can be found at
http://www.co.berks.pa.us/Dept/Elections/Documents/2013%20Election/SCHOOLDRAW.pdf

My shameless plug...I am a candidate for school board. I am working on my candidate website and should have it available to the public by April 8, 2013. I hope that you will visit it and read about who I am. I also would welcome any questions that you may have. You are welcome to email me at MichelleObst@gmail.com.

Michelle Obst

Anonymous said...

WOW! What a list of candidates. Mary Lou Parry? Dawn Zackon? Michelle, I don't know you but you have to be better than the these two. I wonder who hand picked them to run?

Michelle Obst said...

I set up a website to show a little bit about who I am, my professional experiences, and about what guides my thinking. I have experience is education as well as business. I am also a parent and homeowner. I welcome any questions or conversations. My goal is to earn votes and support. If you email me please put "school director" in the subject line (it may end up in my junk/spam and I don't want to miss the message) My website is www.michelleobst.com.

Anonymous said...

Time to start coming to the school board meetings.

Looks like the Board look like fools, supporting the likes of Zackon all those years, while he was ripping off the taxpayers.

Lunches under Zackon's regime:

Golden Oaks - petty cash
Yellow House - petty cash
M&M shop - check $390 (wonder who got to eat - certainly not the kids)
Esposito's
Bella Italia
Fiore's
Melody's at the Wyndham in Reading
Arners
Weis Markets
Butler's Pantry
Boyer's Market
All of the above over the years from 2005-2006 school year through 2009-2010. All coded as supplies for curriculum!

Gift Cards for the secretaries from Red Lobster, paid for by petty cash to the tune:

4/23/08 $291.00
4/24/09 $334.65
4/08/10 $334.65

All of the above coded as supplies for Curriculum.

What did YOUR child learn from these exercises?

Just an FYI: coded to curriculum means that the student had to have this in the classroom.

Anonymous said...

2005-06 school year:

Boyer's Market: $251.75
Golden Oaks: $30.00
Bella Italia: $189.71
Butler's Pantry: $138.90
M&M Shop: $55.88
Weis Markets: $80.07 - cake and ice cream
Unreadable receipt(except for gratuity - which makes it food):$222.15

2006-07 school year:

Boyer's Market: $241.98
Melody's: $55.12
Weis Markets: $212.09
Golden Oaks: $240.00
Jenn&Jessies Ice Cream: $38.21
Unreadable: $233.01
Esposito's: $153.10
Gianotti's: $65.00
Fiore's: $131.00
M&M shop: $59.00

2007-08 school year:

M&M shop: $21.90
Yellow House: $274.78
Arners: $68.00
Fiore's: $112.00
Golden Oaks: $147.00
Bella Italia: $115.67
Weis Markets: $55.85
Jenn&Jessie's Ice Cream: $70.00
Philly Soft Pretzels and Weis: $60.64
Gianotti's: $50.00 Gift Certificate
Giant: $11.58
Sam's Club: $31.56
Unreadable Receipt: $153.91

2008-09 school year:

Arners: $77.10
Golden Oaks: $417.78
Weis Markets: $231.53
Yellow House: $83.00
Bella Italia: $270.47
Gianotti's: $50.00 Gift Certificate
Jenn&Jessie's Ice Cream: $51.38
Party City: $106.03
Unreadable: $71.60

2009-10 School year:

Golden Oaks: $80.00
Weis Markets: $338.28
Yellow House: $206.00
Wal-Mart: $90.00 Gift cards
Legion diner: $40.03
Bella Italia: $225.94
M&M shop: $66.00
Jenn&Jessie's Ice Cream: $24.13
Espositos: $169.10
Shady Maple: $151.99
Party City: $200.00
Rocky's: $34.50
Gianotti's: $184.12 including Gift Certificate
Unreadable: 170.62

Where was the board oversight?

It's time to take careful note of who is running for school board.

All of the above was coded as supplies for meetings and charged toward CURRICULUM (which was supposed to be used in the classroom).

This calls into question every check that was written by the Oley Valley School District during the tenure of Dr. Zackon.

Taxpayer money being used for the delight of the administration.

Wonder what is there is to be found.

Time for a forensic audit in this school district!

All of this was found on a right to know request.

Anonymous said...

Dear Michelle:

Once a teacher, always a teacher, and the last thing we need on the Oley Valley School board is yet another teacher, whether it be you or MaryLou Parry, and certainly not the former superindtent's whatever she is!

Anonymous said...

It looks to me like a board takeover attempt by the local teacher's union. Without any organized opposition and an apathetic community their chances of doing it are 100%.

Anonymous said...

Follow the money....

Anonymous said...

I believe it was the late Superintendent whose "wife" is now running for school board.

American said...

Not to change the subject, but to maintain a consistent political philosophy of this blog, it seems the Reading Eagle censors posts. There is an article about immigration and posts concerning the article. They let someone bad mouth America, yet posts challenging the comments are deleted. You see them one moment but not the next?
http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=474867

Anonymous said...

Not sure what post has to do with Oley, but disturbing none the less.

Anonymous said...

The current administration is no better! Money for new TV's for their offices, Building walls where they could have just closed the doors, parking lot being redone, when staff is losing their jobs. They make their own agenda/rules and claim they are laws! treat faculty and staff horrible all the while claim they are honest and up front! Oley needs the current administration gone! I will vote for anyone that can get it done.

Anonymous said...

This sounds more like Zackon's tyrannical rule than that of someone who is left with his mess to clean up.

The reason Oley is in the financial mess they are in is because of fiscal mismanagement of the Oley School District under the tyranny of the former superintendent. Go back on this blog and reread what was posted from years ago.

Now the Oley School District has to live within its means. Such a pity, that the teachers aren't getting every new toy they want and special treatment from a certain person. You folks aren't even smart enough to read between the lines. Basically the Oley School District has lived a LIE for 15 years, and now everyone wants to blame the person who stepped in and is making the school district responsible because it's the law. School Code was violated on a daily basis, and you all know it's true. The teachers would never make it in the private sector.

Anonymous said...

At least Zackon showed up everyday, and at a decent time. Made his own phone calls to the district and didn't hide in his office. He was a leader that cared about Oley...

Oh yeah and he wasn't a criminal!

None of which can be said about the current administration.

Anonymous said...

Zackon cared about himself and lived lie. May have been in the office but didnt work too busy spending taxpayer money on lots of women lunches and leaving early to teach classes and hang out at Kutztown. Vote for who you want doesnt change the fact that the district is in a mess. Hiding in an office or actually working in the office? Zackon was a criminal fraud and mis use iof tax payer money is a crime.

Oley Concerned Citizens said...

I do not think Dr.Zackon's performance was criminal, but it could fall under the heading of malfeasance. Since part of the school board's function is to oversee a superintendent's activity, they would be malfeasant, as well, if they failed to perform their lawful duties.

Voters usually address the issue of misspent funds rather than court rooms. Termination addresses a sloppy administration.

Under Dr. Zackon's watch a significant amount of tax payer money was wasted on non-educational matters.

$2,000,000 to "repair" a track than could have been done for $850,000.
Failure to pay a bill to Amthor Steel that triggered over $1,000,000 of required, additional payment to the vendor. $500,000 of legal fees associated with non-payment.

This is a substantial amount of money spent on matters that have nothing to do with education.

The taxpayers deserve better than to go back to the days of Dr. Zackon.

Anonymous said...

From the Reading Eagle:
"Oley Valley

(vote for four)

Cross-filed

John Bieber, 53, Ruscombmanor Township, aide to state Rep. David M. Maloney Sr.

Quotable: "I was asked to run by some concerned folks and I have prior experience on the board and know all the issues. I'm also familiar with superintendent Dr. Shank and I think she's an excellent administrator."

Joanne L. Ewing*, 64, Ruscombmanor Township, retired high school English teacher and part-time executive director of the Oley Valley Education Foundation

Quotable: "I feel students need a strong voice on the board. I also feel as though we need to keep the district moving forward as much as possible and to provide the absolute best education that we can for the students without bankrupting the taxpayers."

David Firek, 41, Ruscombmanor Township, CPA

Quotable: "I have three children, one in first grade and the second will start kindergarten next year, and I want to have a more active role in their school and in the community."

Christopher Hannum*, 47, Oley Township, engineer with Entech

Quotable: "I've completed eight years and I have some unfinished work that I hope to get accomplished in the next four."

Michelle Obst, 37, Ruscombmanor Township, homemaker

Quotable: "I am focused on school safety and security, a curriculum that exceeds state requirements and the financial responsibility of the district to the taxpayer."

Ralph Richard*, 53, Oley Township, works in sales for Wells Fargo

Quotable: "The Oley Valley School District and the education of the children of the community, to me, are very important to the overall strength of the community."

Dawn E. Zackon, 58, Oley Township, retired

Quotable: "I would like to continue Jeff (Zackon)'s legacy of good works and commitment to the Oley Valley. Since Jeff's death, the Oley Valley community has been so kind to me. I would be honored to serve and have the opportunity to give back. I am interested in the best programs and educational opportunities for our Oley Valley students. My every decision will be student-centered and student-focused while always being aware of the local tax burden."

Mary Lou Parry, 66, Oley Township, retired Oley Valley teacher

Quotable: "I'm running because I'm concerned about the future of the school district and the way it's being run right now. I'm concerned about changes in curriculum, changes in the atmosphere and the morale of teachers and especially students. I'm concerned about their welfare."


Know who you are voting for.

Anonymous said...

Focusing on the present and positive, I am PROUD that my children attend school in the OVSD. I support oversight and accountability of board members and administration, but will not get bogged down in "bashing" people. We can all focus on making a positive impact on the district without being so negative. Personally, I have a tremendous amount of respect and support for the current district and building administrators. Students in the OVSD continue to perform well on state assessments (especially at the elementary and middle levels), while also getting accepted into great colleges and succeeding in careers. Overall, I am pleased with the OVSD. I propose all the anger people have be focused on making a positive impact on the OVSD, and do so with respect and integrity, rather than hate and disrespect.

Anonymous said...

Based on the outcome of this election, the board majority could be made up of retired teachers and spouses of retired teachers (ex- union members). With new contract negotiations coming up in the near future how will the new board be representing the taxpayers? When these candidates say they are "for the children" that is really saying they are representing the union. Not one of the candidates said they are running to protect the interests of the taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

Ralph Richards voted off the board yesterday. Take note, Mr. Heckman, your next.

Anonymous said...

Unofficial results

JOANNE L. EWING 421 DEMOCRATIC
DAWN E. ZACKON 367 DEMOCRATIC
MARY LOU PARRY 343 DEMOCRATIC
CHRISTOPHER HANNUM. 311 DEMOCRATIC

JOHN BIEBER 384 REPUBLICAN
DAWN E. ZACKON 357 REPUBLICAN
JOANNE L. EWING 355 REPUBLICAN
CHRISTOPHER HANNUM 343 REPUBLICAN

Most likely the board will be, Ewing, Hannum, and Zackon with a battle between Beiber and Parry.

Anonymous said...



Research your Superintendent Dr. Tracy Shank and what she did at her last school, Southeastern School District. She destroys lives because she craves power. She got off of her criminal charges because of an expensive lawyer (just like OJ) and will destroy our district. Wake up, Oley!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Those of you worried about Zackon are not dealing with the living. Let's deal with what there is no rather than what is dead. Focus on the screwing happening now and work backwards. Or, are you one of Shank's pawn to feed her powerhungry ways! Look at the records from her last school. Then, when we deal with the present, do whatever you want of the past.

Anonymous said...

John Beiber calls her an "excellent administrator".

Anonymous said...

Sounds like people do not know what they want in a superintendent.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if Dr. Tracy S. Shank spent the money to balance the budget instead of getting new parking lots for all three of the schools, we wouldn't have to worry about a deficit.

And, talking with her before, during, or after a meeting is like talking with any dictator, they lie, lie,lie even though she acts nice as pie,pie,pie until she rips out your heart and spends your money.

Anonymous said...

John Beiber is being tricked. He is not a god nor should he be thought of as one. She acts one way with him because she is after something... power and money. Pray about and see where God guides you. She is bad news. Find out about her last school district and her criminal charges. They were only dropped because of technicalities. She's a liar and now we're stuck with her.

Anonymous said...

If we are stuck with her, like you say, then why dwell on her past, present or future? Nothing can, nor will, be done about it. She's here, end of conversation.

Anonymous said...

Eventually her contract will be up. Plus, the board and our community are the ones allowing her to have so much power. There is much that can be done if the people in power would open their eyes. I'm not one for allowing helplessness to set it.

Anonymous said...

She sounds like she might be one of those people with the personality problems. The type who say one thing to one and another to another person. One of those sociopaths.

Anonymous said...

Is Dr. Shank the problem or is it the community the problem?

Anonymous said...

That is an interesting question. All communities have problems to deal with. However, that does not make Shank less of a crook, liar or manipulator. Obviously, the community is divided. She is making it worse and using politics to do so. She is doing the same thing at Oley that she did in York county. You can google her history there and see how many problems she made there. It's not about old members vs. new. It's about is the admin and board the best for our community now?

Anonymous said...

I am disappointed for our community, that it is being divided in such an ugly, disrespectful manner. I appreciate all views and opinions, and pray we can all have an honest, open dialogue about what is best for our children. At tonight's board meeting I heard about thirty minutes of data-based rationale for the changes being made at the elementary level. This was followed by several people stating there was no rationale for the staffing changes. I support the changes, at the elementary level, based on my educational background, and knowledge of the data and student learning. Personally, having children in the district, I am glad changes were made to "stop the bleeding", and another year of the same of poor results weren't allowed to occur, while nothing was done. We all care about and support our teachers, but it is about students first. Although many may not appreciate how the data was presented in a professional manner, I did. Because what you didn't see were names of individual teachers with years of poor results. Believe it or not, that was done to protect the teachers. I do believe this district can improve communication in some areas, and every organization has room for improvement, but I am glad academic changes are being made.
Let's all attend the board and committee meetings and constructively and respectfully have discussions about moving the district forward.

Anonymous said...

There must be reasons teachers are so upset. My children have had great teachers who would do anything for the children. Stopping the bleeding is one thing, creating chaos is completely another. It seems are teachers are usually reasonable as a group. If they are this upset, the higher powers have done something poorly.

Anonymous said...

Since the comments above admit to be privy to information the community was not given, it must be from either a board members or our unpopular superintendents.
If there is a problem with specific teachers, dialogue with them and find out the problem. Disrupting the entire school still has not been good for the environment. Instituting computer and scripted programs while created a hostile environment is still not was needed. We can bet all of the data will benefit your position next year so you can take credit for it.

Anonymous said...

The disgruntled teachers are probably the ones that need to be replaced. They scare the kids who go home and scare the parents. Change will not happen by itself. The administration is an easy target for those who want the status quo.

Anonymous said...

To the Anonymous post: "Since the comments above admit to be privy to information the community was not given, it must be from either a board members or our unpopular superintendent."

What information are you referring to?

Anonymous said...

Post 1:19 PM, May 30,2013:

You should attend school board meetings. None of the "information" discussed on this blog is secret.

Anonymous said...

I am referring to the quote from above: "Because what you didn't see were names of individual teachers with years of poor results. Believe it or not, that was done to protect the teachers".

No one said there were any secrets. This statement implies this person knows of teachers with years of poor results. How will moving them around help? Teach them how to be successful, figure out the problem or hire teachers who know what they are doing. Creating chaos in an elementary school or any school makes no sense.

Doe John said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

The comment "because what you'd didn't see ..." was made based solely on the information presented at the meeting. For example, the negative growth in Kindergarten and 4th grade, across all performance levels, indicate there would be a concern with the performance of teachers and/or curriculum in those areas. Since the changes are in both teachers and curriculum, indicates there were concerns with both. Moving teachers may be a strategy to help improve their performance. For example, if an entire grade level is having difficulty (ex: K or 4th grade), mixing some of those teachers with teachers at a grade level which may have been successful across the board, may allow them to grow through collaboration. Based on the data shared at the meeting, and where I hear (publicly) the moves are being proposed, it seems to me that is what is being done. The reality is, change is never easy. However, I feel it would be irresponsible to let another year go by without making any changes, putting children further behind. There are ways to skew data, however, the data shared was on such a basic level, there was nothing to skew. There are other publicly available websites to view performance on your own. eMetric, School Digger, etc., will all provide unbiased data that can't be ignored. You need not take my word, but I recommend you check it out for yourselves. Best wishes to all concerned. We all want the same thing, and that is, to do what's best for our kids. Unfortunately, the honest effect of that is, it may not always be what is best for individual teachers. That is an unfortunate reality, and I do not mean to degrade or offend any teachers, who I know put their heart into our children, and what they do everyday.

Anonymous said...

There are some things that are just more important than test scores. As current trends change, the values and unity Oley has maintained, way before the current administration came aboard, outlasts any test. Focusing only on tests will only hurt the students in the long run. There is more to life than tests. Yes, they are important because the government says so, but fundamentally the kids need so much more. Look at China; the test scores are high but so is the suicide rate.
It is true that change is not easy, but it would be welcomed if everyone truly believed the changes are in the children's best interest. It is not.

The people of Oley will not allow you to take this school apart the way you did in your last district. Walking all over people and ignoring their protests will come back to you eventually.
Furthermore, there are ways to create change which do not offend or divide a community in two. Even if scores increase, which has yet to be determined, to create lifelong learning, one has to do more than sit a child in front of a computer while saying their motives are pure. If you want to help kids, go to a district which truly needs you.

Anonymous said...

Status quo is not an option. Less revenue requires education to operate more efficiently and proficiently. This is the reality in the private sector, and now is the reality for the public sector.

Anonymous said...

No one is expecting status quo in the public or private sector. People want fair, honest and leadership from rrespectable people. Parents do not want leadership who only kiss the arse of board members.

Anonymous said...

I strongly suggest that most of the recent posters go back to the beginning of this blog and read why it was started.

For 15 years, the Oley Valley School District did not follow the Pennsylvania School Code, basically meaning the law was not followed.

All you need to do is request the information. Go through the financials and you will see how the school district frivously spent our money. For anyone who is interested, the Amthor Steel issue all fell under the mismanagement of Jeffrey Zackon. It was a school that was not needed. Remember also that Oley altered PSSA testing, which is also a violation of the PA School Code. I also believe that a box of PSSA tests was found somewhere in storage that were never sent back to the testing agency. This, too, is a huge violation of PA School Code. Talk about skewing the data. The elementary parents are being used as pawns for teachers who no longer are able to get reimbursed for every little toy they want, and the spending that was permitted under the RULE of Jeffrey Zackon. Money is not education. Having the latest gadgets is not education. Certain teachers in the Oley School District got certain things. Those teachers and former teachers know who they are. Before making allegations one must do their research. Oley is in the huge financial mess because one person thought he was the all powerful. Being a superintendent should be about the children and their education, not POLITICS and one's image. The truth will come out, and the parents who are being lied to by the teachers will end up feeling like fools.

Why don't you ask the teachers about the BOOK?

Anonymous said...

Why do you attack the teachers? Are you suggesting the teachers had anything to do with the previous administrations wrongdoings?

And, isn't Jeff Zackon dead? As you continue to beat the dead (and a dead horse) the problems happening are happening now. You can continue to go back centuries of problems you will not find solutions there.

The solutions are to be found now. By continuing to treat people as if they are nothing nothing will get better.

Plus, CS we know how bitter and angry you are.

Anonymous said...

No money for teachers - no one said anything about the school spending $2.5 million on a track.

Anonymous said...

No money for teachers and no one has said anything about having more teachers than are needed to teach the number of students in the district.

Anonymous said...

NO MONEY = NO MONEY

The question is why is there no money?

Anonymous said...

9:19 AM, October 28, 2006
Blogger Oley Concerned Citizens said...

"You need to get to the root of the problem and that is at the state and/or federal level."

The state nor the federal government do not mandate the following:

1.Teacher salary and benefits.
2.Superintendent salary and benefits.
3.Administration salary and benefits.
...75% of the district budget is salary and benefits.

4. The grandeur of a new buildings.
...there is a $3,000,000 debt service for these structures which represents approximately 4.43 mills of taxes.

5. A $1,400,000 lawsuit against the district.
6. A $1,300,000 track/facility.
7. Etc.........

The state and federal government is doing something about the school board's inability to manage education, fiscal and educational controls.

This is called accountability, something which our group requests, but receives little attention.

The tactic of stonewalling answers to questions may be the board's short term solution, but in the near future,they must act or face fines and removal.

10:00 AM, October 28, 2006

The above post was from 2006. We had money problems then and now because there may have to be furloughs, everyone is wondering WHY!

Anonymous said...

Why no money now? or why furloughs now?
There were furloughs and demotions forr the last two years not just for next year.

Anonymous said...

"Those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat it"

Anonymous said...

5:32 - You answered your own question.

School Code was not followed by the prior superintendent and Peter was robbed to pay Paul. At the time that Dr. Shank stepped in there were no more shenanigans because for the first time in the last 15 years money was being spent where it was supposed to be spent.

If memory serves me correctly, Dr. Zackon ran through 7 business managers in 12 years. The common denominator here is not the business managers.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=oiIyAAAAIBAJ&sjid=T6YFAAAAIBAJ&pg=2177,5881445&dq=oley+valley+school+district+hires+business+manager&hl=en

"Oley Board hires business manager"

The above link is very interesting. The business manager they hired was the 4th in 15 months.

Anonymous said...

Lie
#1. If I am Superintendent we do not need an assistant. The district is so small an Assistant Superintendent is not needed. $130,000.00 later Dr. Y was hired.

#2. At Dr. Zackon's funeral, "He was my best friend," Dr. S announced. (Why did none of see his best friend around before).

#3. Police reports filed for lying to the police about being stalked.

Stable Superintendent? 3 strikes you're out.

Anonymous said...

#4. Why would Dawn and Dr Zackon pretend to married when they were not legally married?

#5. If the district is so small that it does not need an Assistant Superintendent, why did Dr Zackon hire another assistant after Dr. Subitz resigned? If he hadn't hired anyone, Dr Shank wouldn't even be here.

Anonymous said...

#5 Agreed. Dr. Shank is the one who said we did not need one and then later changed it.

#4 Who cares?

Anonymous said...

Who says Dr. Zackon said they were married? Rumor has it he was planning on marrying a superintendent from another school district.

Isn't a spouse usually put on the deed of the home they lived in unless the house was purchased prior to marriage?

Dr. Shank probably wouldn't need an Assistant Superintendent if she was busy cleaning up Zackon's financial mess. They can't even find all the records.

Dr. Shank will not be able to do her job until the money is straightened out, and without previous records, this could take years.

By the way, who paid for the memorial service? I believe the school paid for it, and I don't think that was in his contract, or any superintendent's contract. Did the taxpayer's pay for Mr. Lesko's memorial service?

#4 Pretending to be married, and getting medical benefits paid for by the taxpayers for someone who is not your spouse I believe is illegal.

And by the way, who is Dr. shank's partner?

Anonymous said...

No comments on the postings from 12:12 AM, June 02, 2013 or 4:26 PM, June 01, 2013?

No one wants to address the FACTS.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many of these "anonymous" writers would be spouting this venom and personal attacks if they were required to use their real name? You can be real brave and trash anyone when you hide your identity.

Anonymous said...

Where is your name 7:13?

Anonymous said...

It seems the teachers' union has divided the community, again.

home owner said...

With recent images of GSA employees lavish trips to Las Vagas toasting taxpayers with champagne in hot tops to the tune of $823,000 on top of their $30,000,000 bonuses or IRS employees line dancing at conventions for $50,000,000, begs the question how much money did Oley Taxpayers pay for teachers,administrators, board members lunches, dinners and trips over the Zackon years ?

Anonymous said...

Way too much for a small community school district.

The board is at fault too. There were no checks and balances on this guy!

Anonymous said...

Where were all you people 10 years ago when he was spending with reckless abandon and when we would ask questions he would put his big pointer finger up and tell us to sit down. The whole board knew what was going on Heckman is just of fault! All you people need to do is get of the blog and head down to the administration building with your written request to see the open records and see for yourself. We wish the mess we are in was not happening! The past is biting us in the butt! Dr. Shank was hired by Dr. Zackon get off her case. She is trying to fix the mess he left behind and some of the decisions she has to make are not ones she wanted to make. Just wait to the state audit comes back it is not good!

Anonymous said...

Like everything and everyone in Oley you people are fixated with the past. Zackon is gone and rehashing his faults will change nothing. Where were all of you the past six months when you could have run a slate of candidates for school board who would have reflected your concerns? Instead we elected a group who will continue on the same path that we are on now. It's easier to complain than it is to actually try to do something to change things.

Anonymous said...

Someone like Dawn Zackon whose goal it is to continue her "husbands" legacy.

That's a great platform.

Anonymous said...

Even if Dr. Zackon was a terrible Superintendent, this does not make Dr. Shank a good one.

Anonymous said...

You think it's the teacher's union dividing the community? Again, my kids have had great teachers. I blame this administration.

Oley Concerned Citizens said...

Debate is welcome on this blog. It is for people to express their opinions about various subject matter.

Every attempt will be made for everyone to have a say.

However, when posts cross the line of a vigorous debate and become libelous, these posts will be deleted.

This will insure the dialog can be spirited and reasonable as possible.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Rest in Peaxe Oley Valley Student Greg. Prayers are with your family.
A young life lost and bloggers care more about who was married and who wasnt. Who really cares.

Anonymous said...

How can the taxpayers forget so many tax increase under Dr. Zackon especially when Dawn Zackon is running on his name recognition.

Anonymous said...

OK, so there were tax increases when Dr. Zackon was superintendent. That's water under the bridge. It's history and you can't reverse it. As for Dawn Zackon, the voters gave her enough votes on both ballots that she WILL be on the board in December so get over it.
I guess things aren't really so bad in the OVSD after all since all everyone keeps writing about is Zackon and what happened ten years ago.

Anonymous said...

The point is taxpayers should not to back to the Zackon days. If that happens the state will take over our district and decisions will be made in Harrisburg not Oley.

Anonymous said...

6:54

It doesn't have anything to do with tax increases, it's the amount of money he wasted on feel good items, like the track, the new AG building, food for himself and the other administrators, items that were not needed, such as 8 to 10 camcorders, DVD players, etc. It's time you wake up and get a clue.

Anonymous said...

All those items mentioned had to be approved and funded by the board. It's time you wake up and hold the real culprits accountable. I guess it's easier to hammer a dead superintendent who can't defend himself.

Anonymous said...


"Anonymous said...

Way too much for a small community school district.

The board is at fault too. There were no checks and balances on this guy!

4:32 PM, June 03, 2013"

My post. I guess you missed this post!

In addition, the school board did not know of most of the issues that are just now being found.

The $10,000 line of credit at Best Buy that had to be approved by the board, but they knew nothing about it. There are a ton of other things also. Why don't you do write a Right to Know request and see the information for yourself. Don't take my word for it. I've seen it. It's pathetic. These were all issues that I brought up for 10 years, and all were dismissed by the board who took Zackon's word for it that I was incorrect and what I reported was wrong.

There were invoices that he never presented to the School Board for review. He just went ahead and spent money, like it came out of his pocket.

Your post:
I guess it's easier to hammer a dead superintendent who can't defend himself.

4:15 PM, June 05, 2013

And why then would you be blaming Dr. Shank? She has to work within the MESS she was left with. What don't you get about fiscal mismanagement for 15 years and not having any money now? I've done my homework. None of this is made up. Now that all the freebies are gone and there is no one left to blackmail and teachers actually have to work, they don't like it. We had some teachers in the district who only taught 2 classes a day. Wow - that's really hard work! There were multiple days in under Zackon's tenure where there were 45+ teachers absent on any given day. That equates to a lot of money over a 15-year period. Read the previous blogs. Fiscal management was the reason this blog was started in the first place.

Feel free to contact Dr. Shank and she will discuss these issues with you also. The proof is in the check runs and the invoices and all the paper documents.

Respectfully,
Cindy Smith

Anonymous said...

None of my kid's teachers worked only two hours a day. Who are these teachers?

Also, did Shank change something about how many sick days may be taken? I didn't hear she did anything to change that.

Anonymous said...

Poor Dr. Shank? Bahahaha. That's funny.

Anonymous said...

These are all teacher comments.

Poor, poor teachers. Try living in the REAL WORLD.

I believe you misread the above posting, as it said two classes, not two hours, and two classes comes to about 80 minutes. How do you know how many classes your children's teachers taught? The only teachers who really teach an entire day are the elementary teachers.

The 45+ teachers who were absent, were not absent because of illness, they were absent because they were approved by Dr. Zackon, as per the call off sheets that I did a Right to Know request for.

Your favorite blogger

Anonymous said...

I am not a teacher but have teachers who are friends. We talk about work, mine and theirs. I respect what they do. Several of them have worked other jobs and know what "the real world" is like.

Favorite blogger, you sure are a hateful, mean, bitter person. I'd imagine most teachers and many other types of workers would try to stay clear of you.

As for the 45+ people who were absent, I was trying to say that nothing that we are aware of has changed, so that amount of people could still stay away even under your precious administration now.

Anonymous said...

We all have teachers who are friends. My teacher friends never went to the children in their class to have the kids do their bidding for them. None of my teacher friends called parents of the children in their class and had them do their bidding either.

Anonymous said...

Everyone has aright to their own thoughts and feeliings. Anger and bitterness Serve no pupose only hurt people on both sides of an issue. Deal with the facts and correct the problem whatever or whoever it is...
People are just that people - all make mistakes say things they probably sbould not have but its time to forgive not judge and face the issues as they are. Too move foward to a new day

home owner said...

People have been forced from their homes because they could not keep up with property taxes rising so many times. These are facts.
No one was worried about their feelings as they were being tossed out into the street.
It was easier to feel good about a track.

Anonymous said...

Who, specifically, can you name who was "tossed out into the street"? Are you talking about here in the OVSD? If these are "facts" then you should be able to provide some names or statistics to back up your claim.

home owner said...

Wouldn't you like their names so that you could harass and belittle them even more. My neighbor showed me one of your hate flyers.
Your little selfish pack of jackals cost this district plenty. You all should be ashamed of yourselves. You bring disgrace to our community.

Anonymous said...

Just as I thought. You have nothing to back up your statements but name calling and hate. This district thrives in spite of people like you. You just like to spread discontent.

homeowner said...

The records on foreclosure and on auctions are public record. Your greed and selfishness for toys at public expense are also public record. The discontent is yours and yours alone. Let us all hope you are not forced from your home.

Anonymous said...

Right on!

Anonymous said...

These comments make me sad. I wish there was a way we could all come to common goals. We need to look at what is best for the schools, taxpayers and community. Probably all sides have valid points. If someone was kicked into the streets, that's sad. Most of us would hate to see that happen to anyone. Things are tough right now. There has to be some way to work together instead of pointing fingers.

Anonymous said...

How long have you been living in this district? The people in the OVSD have never worked together on anything. It's so much easier to criticize and complain.

Anonymous said...

I love how you keep talking about the toys the teachers can't get. What about all the stuff the administration gets, lets see dr younkin got a smart board, projector, and brand new MacBook Pro the first week she worked there. Dr shank has 2 computers and a flat screen tv as does mr stock. All the administration has iphone5's and iPads. Where are the toys? Wake up Cindy

Anonymous said...

I am shocked that this blog hasn't discussed this letter: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=482912. Why have we not heard about this yet?

Anonymous said...

Here is the article:
Originally Published: 6/13/2013
Oley Valley School Board postpones vote on budget
The Oley Valley School Board decided to wait one more week to vote on the final budget for the 2013-14 school year.

The current figures announced Wednesday night represent a balanced $28.4 million budget that includes seven furloughs and two demotions from full-time to part-time positions.

The total budget amount decreased about $70,000 since the last update and is about 0.6 percent more than the 2012-13 budget.

The number of faculty cuts increased slightly from the five furloughs and three demotions reported in May.

Dr. Tracy S. Shank, superintendent, said the change is the result of the numbers being finalized, but cautioned they could shift again by next week's vote.

At this point, the list of faculty and staff who will be affected has not been officially announced, but several teachers have been notified of pending furloughs.

Shank, who previously attributed the moves to declining enrollment, said the furloughs are determined by seniority.

The tentative budget also includes a tax increase but does not dip into the district's reserve funds.

The board will vote to approve a 0.373-mill tax increase, which would make the total rate 24.93 mills, about a 1.5 percent increase.

The annual bill for a property assessed at $100,000 would be about $2,493.

No major program cuts are included in the budget.

Contact Stephanie Weaver: 610-371-5042 or sweaver@readingeagle.com.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why they would demote teachers instead of doing furloughs. At just half time the teacher has to have a prep time and a lunch. Isn't the district wasting money by not just furloughing a teacher than to have a half time teacher do a couple periods a day and a prep and a lunch? I am not understanding the math here.

Anonymous said...

Not furloughing is a concession to the union.

Anonymous said...

Explain how this would be a concession? Demotions are not based on Seniority. Demoted employees are stuck in a half time role, therefore half the pay/benefits. And, since they are still employed, they have no opportunity to collect unemployment and are placed in a difficult position in regards to seeking other employment. So I reiterate, how is this a concession?

Anonymous said...

Because their year counts towards the persons retirement and they may qualify for unemployment, get paid not to take benefits, and get paid for anytime before and after school.

Anonymous said...

" Anonymous said...

I love how you keep talking about the toys the teachers can't get. What about all the stuff the administration gets, lets see dr younkin got a smart board, projector, and brand new MacBook Pro the first week she worked there. Dr shank has 2 computers and a flat screen tv as does mr stock. All the administration has iphone5's and iPads. Where are the toys? Wake up Cindy

8:03 PM, June 13, 2013"

To the above blogger,

Why don't you take a ride to the school and have a look for yourself. And I have not posted for quite a few days, so please do not ASSUME that every comment is mine. One of the things that Joe Miller taught in 9th grade English at Oley Valley was never to assume, it makes an ASS out of you and me. Why don't you speak to the parent who visited with the Superintedent and ask her. She saw the offices of the administrators. Her webinar didn't come from me. She saw for herself what the offices looked like. Uninformed people look foolish when they find out all that they are accusing is not true.

I can show you all the financial reimbursements to the teachers who put in for everything they wanted in their classrooms. I've seen the documents. Have you?

And again, please, I am not the only person posting on this blog, but then it certainly would put a damper on your plans if others felt the same way as I did.

Cindy Smith

Anonymous said...

Alot of teachers and administrators have two or more computers, ipads, etc
They have to have them because the grading scheduling systems are not Mac compatible. No big deal...

Anonymous said...

Having crappy rooms versus having a lot of nice technology are two different things. Plus things can be hidden from the public as dr. zackon has proven. I think the point is you may really be being fooled by this administration. That does not make what has happened in the past right.

New technologies and iphone 5s has nothing to do with not being Mac compatible. There are dells used in the middle and elementary schools that could have been used.

What is this webinar?

Anonymous said...

Why does mr. stock have a flat screen tv?

Are they still repaving all of the parking lots?

Anonymous said...

They should get rid of the assistant superintendent. That would save money and Dr. Shank had originally said one wasn't needed.

Anonymous said...

My friends told me they want to keep two half time teachers because dr marks has a former student he wants to keep in the district even though she lives in another state. They said it is for that reason they made one of the older teachers part time so they could keep her. So instead they have two part time teachers who can only teach two classes then take a prep and a lunch.
Games are still being played.

Anonymous said...

I heard the custodian from the high school was fired because he was saying things about Shank. I believe games are being played too.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Show me any company that wouldn't fire an employee for saying bad things about the CEO. There are a lot of things to criticize but that isn't one.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm. My company wouldn't fire someone for making a bad comment about a boss to another employee. I can criticize whatever I want. This is America. If someone differs of opinion from the boss, that is no reason to fire.

Anonymous said...

I don't think teachers are lying. Their perception might be wrong but I'm not sure yet. Remember they took a pay freeze the other year to help the district. I'll reiterate, they have been great to my kids and I find them to be kind, hardworking individuals. Sure there are a few here or there I don't like just like with everyone, but for the most part they work hard. If they are wrong it is because communication is bad and they are treated poorly. My teachers have helped save my one daughter. I would fight to the end for them.

Anonymous said...

Is it true the schools are getting new laptops?

Anonymous said...

Couldn't be. The District is broke, so why would they spend more money on something they already have?

Anonymous said...

How is the district paying to redo the parking lots?

Anonymous said...

Probably out of the Capitol Reserve Fund. It can only be used for capitol improvements.

home owner said...

Reading Eagle:
"
The budget includes a 0.373-mill tax hike, which increases the total rate to 24.93 mills. The annual bill for a property assessed at $100,000 will be about $2,493."

Another tax increase while families are holding on by their finger nails.
New parking lots, new track are the reasons we may lose our homes!!

Anonymous said...

Parking lots have nothing to do with tax increases.
Capital reserve money cant be used for salaries and benefits and retirement and healthcare costs.

Anonymous said...

Is that where the money for the new computers came from?

home owner said...

"Parking lots have nothing to do with tax increases"

Where do you think the district gets money to pay for parking lots?
With thinking like this, no wonder the district is in trouble.

Anonymous said...

Is the district in trouble? Where? How?

Anonymous said...

Laying off teachers, cutting the pay of others is not a sign that the district is in trouble!?
Hello.....

Anonymous said...

No, it's a sign they are doing what they need to do, and can do, under a difficult situation. They could keep the teachers and raise your taxes to pay for them. I guess you would like that. They are acting responsibly which is more than I can say for some of their critics.

Anonymous said...

The district claims to have financial trouble or else they wouldn't be making cuts. They couldn't possible raise taxes enough to cover all of the costs. No one wants to see people lose their homes or people lose their jobs. It is a sign of trouble. Read the news, it is happening everywhere. That's why I think the assistant superintendent should go.

Anonymous said...

They can't retain all of the positions due to declining student enrollment. While that's completely understandable, it's not professional for the superintendent to pull teachers out of their classes -- during the day -- to discuss their employment status.

Anonymous said...

that was because of the teacher's union - otherwise they would have to pay them to stay

Anonymous said...

They are contractually obligated to stay for a specific period of time at the end of the day, which would certainly be enough to discuss the details.

Anonymous said...

How many teachers are not working a full day? And if not why not?

Anonymous said...

Nice to see teachers on their three month paid vacation. Trips along with visits to summer homes must be nice. Next year's budget, the community pays for their golden parachute, guaranteed pensions.

Anonymous said...

My teacher friends do not have summer homes, only modest homes. don't know what teachers you know who live in this magical land.

Pulling teacher's out during classes was not because of the union. Teacher days are longer than the kids and classes. It could be done afterwards.

Two teachers are half time. One because Dr. Marks is close to the one lady who drives from Delaware so they cut another teacher to half time at the middle school.

Anonymous said...

Dear 7:53:

If you have the money to pay these teachers, why don't you step up to the plate?

This comment obviously came from a teacher. Sad, whiny teachers!

Anonymous said...

Too funny. Sure I'll just pay for all of the teacher salary,not..... We have comedian. Who's whiny and who is a teacher? I make more money than two of my teacher friends and I do not have a college degree. I just do not understand why you like to pick on them.

Anonymous said...

Who Cares?

Anonymous said...

12:30

Are the taxpayers paying your salary out of their checking accounts, or do you perhaps work at a company that actually produces and sells an item?

Perhaps the old computer saying comes into play here - Garbage in, garbage out. Children not taught = not too intelligent children. Another thought, just so you don't think I'm totally against the teachers - parents need to step up to the plate and not the the government educate their children, and allow their children to follow. Children should be taught to lead and that should not be expected to be taught by the teachers and the messed up government who orders the teachers what to do. Perhaps some teachers should buck the system and then we'll see what we know the teachers are capable of, and that would be actually educating our children.

See - I don't totally blame the teachers, but I do think the teachers are cowards, and need to rise up against their unions. So what is it teachers, your money or the education or your students. Which means more to you?

home owner said...

Seeing a lot of home For Sale signs. Just got my school tax bill!!
Expect to see more signs. People cannot afford this. Teachers do not care.

Anonymous said...

I educate my children and so do the teachers. There are things the teachers offer that I cannot, especially in areas I know little about such as chemistry, etc. Teachers pay taxes too. Are they paying their own salaries? It's the way the system is set up. Maybe there needs to a new system in place. I don't know. I know my teacher friends work hard and care for my kids and do a great job for them. Taxes in general suck and I think there needed to be cuts at the school. I don't think bashing teachers is the answer is all. At least not the ones I know. I'm sure there are bad ones there. It just hasn't been my experience yet.
It's sad seeing people lose their homes but your blaming people who are hard workers not living luxurious life styles. I don't think its solving any problems, only creating them.
Schools do produce a product. The produce kids going into a scary world. It's the most important product there is.

Anonymous said...

I care.

Anonymous said...

They spend twice as much as necessary to produce that "product" and the product they produce is seriously flawed. No one will admit it or take responsibility for it but the proof is there. The teachers are ultimately responsible but you will never hear any of them say that.

Anonymous said...

I disagree. I am ultimately responsible for my kids.

I wouldn't call my kids flawed. I guess they do have flaws just like everyone else. No one is perfect or is supposed to be perfect. My kids are still great kids with a bright future.

Anonymous said...

How could anyone look around at what is happening today and the direction our country is going and say your kids have a bright future? Liberal policies are creating a dark future for our kids unless we do something to reverse course, and time is running out.

Anonymous said...

With your perspectives, I'd want to slit my wrists.

Anonymous said...

And with yours, I would.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, because I see hope in my kids future, you would rather die???? Interesting.

homeowner said...

Paid school taxes today and wonder how long people can afford to stay in their homes.
Meanwhile, heard a teacher say she was up from the shore house so that family could go on an overseas trip.
Must be nice.

Anonymous said...

I hate Oley's teachers. I'm glad Shank and Yonkin treat them badly.

Anonymous said...

I am trying to get my kids ready for school but heard today there may be no school. Teachers are supposed to go on strike because they dont have a contract. Is this true?

Anonymous said...

That rumor was there about the end of school too.

Anonymous said...

Every teacher that my children had throughout their years at Oley (except for one) were excellent and put a tremendous amount of time into their jobs. I have volunteered in the classroom many times and see what it takes for a teacher to do their job. A good teacher is worth every penny that they are paid. I do not agree with the whole pension thing or the health care for the whole family. That needs to get in line with the rest of us taxpayers. I question the logic behind switching all these teachers around. I feel that we will lose almost a year until everyone gets their head above water and adjusts to their new curriculum. Why are all the guidance counselors leaving in the high school? I sure hope the board and the new administration members realize the value of the hidden gem that we have at Oley - the high school agricultural program. I have never seen such dedicated, and hardworking teachers who invest countless hours into a program to truly help kids succeed. In my opinion, it is the best program that Oley has to offer to all students.

Anonymous said...

I like Oley teachers too. Most of them were great to my kids. My kids became successful because of education.
My husband works at an industry that holds health insurance for our whole family. I think all businesses should do at least that, teacher or whoever.
I don't understand all of the hate coming out on here. I'm glad I checked in and saw something positive.

Anonymous said...

Teachers back from their two month paid vacation just in time to go on strike?

Anonymous said...

Oley has many great teachers. Its just to bad that they cant stand up for themselves and blindly follow the union leadership - its as if Hvzida was the pied piper

Anonymous said...

The teachers are treated like shit in this district. They should strike. Shank is a liar who has fooled half of the community with her devious, criminal ways. yonkin is downright nasty except in front of the public eye. John Beiber is bitter and angry and trying to spew lies about teachers because he couldn't budget his money correctly for his family. Joanne Ewing trying to save face because she wrote Jeff Zackon's doctoral papers for him. Teachers took a voluntary pay freeze to help and all they get is bad words about them. Now, what? Two years without a contract? Don't think any of my friends give a f*** what Hvizda says. It's the way this community is towards them. I tell them to strike. All half of the community does is throw them under the bus.

Anonymous said...

8:50 PM, August 31, 2013 post..

Sounds like a teacher or somebody who feeds off the system.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like teen spirit. Schools like a jail now.

Anonymous said...

If that was a teen's vitriol, then we wonder what is being taught in the classroom.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the Oley Teachers' Union passed up a GREAT contract.

Most of the teachers in Berks County would love to have this contract.

Sad, sorry teachers' union.

View it on the Oley School District website. Nothing is ever enough for these folks!

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