Wednesday, March 16, 2005

More Cleveland School Fun

For anyone not in the know, the Cleveland public school system is the worst in Ohio, and quite possibly one of the worst in the country (I'm too lazy to look it up). It went into state receivership for several years not too long ago. I remember around the same time that the Cincinnati public school system was threatened with much the same action, but the fired their super and hired a business man to plug the leaks long enough to avoid that coming to pass. I will say that I have heard that some of the Cincinnati schools are okay, I've never heard any similar sentiments about any Cleveland school (apart from many the charter schools, but they don't count now do they?). Not only is the district about to lose money from cooking the books on the number of students they said they serve and loosing students in general, downtown property owners are going to court to get some taxes back:
A state board recently agreed to reduce the market value of the 1.2-acre lot, owned by one of the Richard E. Jacobs Group's companies, from nearly $12.8 million to $6.1 million. As a result, its taxable value drops from nearly $4.5 million to $2.1 million.
That means the loss of about $177,000 a year in property taxes. Most of those taxes, or about $106,000, go to the Cleveland schools.
OUCH! Of course maybe if schools didn't suck so hard, property values wouldn't be going down - HA!
I asked myself, though, why do the owners have to go to court for this reassessment?
'When these cases come up, we fight them because we know the impact is going to hurt students,' said spokesman Alan Seifullah.
Okay, so it's not because the property owners are trying to cheapskates and skip out on their taxes, it's because the city wants to screw them over to cover their incompetence. The destitute city obviously knows that nothing attracts businesses like being a royal pain in the side!

(And yes, I know Cleveland's graduation rate has gone up a bunch, but when you start at 28%, there's no where to go but up (in this case, to 50%)! I looked for evidence in the article that might explain why this happened. Did the number of students drop off in the right areas? Were they cooking the books a couple years back (more than likely, it's pretty hard for a non-existent student to graduate)? What percentage did the private/charter schools account for this? None of this and more is answered, so I'd have to guess the information would put the district back in a bad light; but I guess a win's a win!)

(PSS, I wasn't going to look up the links, but I found them just fine. Here's the one on the shrinking district:

About 2,200 students left district schools between August and January, compared with 680 who left during the same period last school year, according to the district. Researchers at Cleveland State Univer sity recently predicted that, in a worst-case scenario, enrollment could plummet from the current 65,000 students to 51,000 in 10 years.)

As well, how about we run some math, hmmmmm....
According to Cleveland public schools own site, they took in 962.9 million in FY2003, that's
962,900,000
Now I'll be generous and say they had 65,000 students last year, so that would be about 15 grand a student, a year. Now to send a kid to the mildly fancy private Padua High School down the road from me it costs about $6,200, am I missing something here?

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