Entries Tagged 'SF School District' ↓

Suckers! Everyone of you!

This is what I said about the sales tax increase last February for teacher pay;

As I have said, it is purely ignorant to raise regressive sales taxes for teacher pay when the money is already there (heck, probably sitting in reserves). This is about presenting intelligent plans to raise teacher pay, not knee jerk reactions. People want this increase SO bad, they are willing to fall back on fiscally irresponsible and ignorant taxation plans to get it. That my friends is called GREED.

They went on to pass it anyone. And guess what, they could not have done it without the help of the Democratic legislators (and as Pam Nelson has pointed out, maybe a reason why they failed so bad this past election season). The worst part about it is they had a better plan, but didn’t present it, instead they went along with the Republican Governor’s plan, and guess where that got us? Exactly where I knew this would end up!

The House of Representatives on Tuesday night approved Senate Bill 35, which strikes the specifications for how the half-cent sales tax are used. Appropriators on Wednesday morning said that given the strained state economy and lower than expected revenues, education funding would remain flat.

Only one year later and the Governor (who cooked up the sales tax increase to begin with) already wants to rob the pot. ONLY ONE YEAR LATER! And once it happens, there is NO going back. The tax will NEVER be repealed and the teachers will never fully receive the money.

Some accuse me of being too cynical. But it is my cynism that sees this crap a mile away. When crooks are in power for the past 40 years, you don’t just wake up one morning in 2016 and say, “Let’s trust them this time, it’s for the teachers.”

Can you hear that sound . . . it gets louder the closer you are to Pierre.

Get your School Board on!

As of yesterday you can pick up your nominating petitions, and you have until March 28 to file them (I think you need 50 signatures?).

Only one candidate has announced, the wife of Mark Mickelson, Cynthia. While I’m sure she would make a great board member, I hope others will run.

Open seat on SF School Board

The Sioux Falls School Board will be having an election in June. They are expecting the voter turnout to be so low, they are going to hand count the results (I don’t expect over 2,500 votes). There is only one school board member on the ballot (I have encouraged the board to also put the school start date on there, maybe as an advisory vote, maybe they would get a bigger turnout).

Either way, Doug Morrison has decided to NOT run for another term, so it will be an open seat. While no one has formerly announced, I guess the Tuthill Fairies have been in high gear to replace Doug with a ‘McKennan Park Mommy’. While I have heard a few of the names being thrown around, I won’t speculate if they are running or not, but let’s just say the last name will be recognized.

Hopefully we can get Randy Dobberpuhl to run again! GO RANDY!

 

Interesting Annexation School Map

I got this handout at the Fiscal ‘working session’ yesterday (you know, the meeting they could not record, because gawd forbid we would get to see these graphics on the overhead.) The pink is where SF is annexed into as of 2016. The city now is in every school district surrounding us. PDF of Doc: annexschool-map

School Start Date, Sioux Falls, Public Input, Jan 31, 2017

Let’s do this again and again and again. Why won’t certain people in the operating cabal of the Sioux Falls School system understand the people don’t like being pushed around? Our town had a vote in 2015 to put sanity in the school calendar but certain people in control keep telling us to go away and leave them alone.

On January 31, 2017 Superintendent Dr. Brian Maher got an earful and then some. Observers in the Lincoln High meeting saw him shake his head a few times as he saw what a mess he has been left with. It appears he has not seen how upset this process has made the citizens of our little town.

As usual the Homan leftovers are trying to pull fast ones on him and the public. Maher’s closing statements are worth a listen. He may have seen how upset the SOS members and the public are.

Is the School District still using trickery to change the school start date?

We will have a video up soon of the meeting last night.

I think it was obvious why this went to the ballot to begin with, the district did not want to compromise (start school the final Monday in August). It sounds like what parents want anyway;

“The last Monday in August for example, the week right before Labor Day is to me I think a good compromise. I think we need to keep talking and giving more creative ideas because I just think there’s more than one way for it to work out,” Sorensen said.

Of course the students feel like they are being left out. Well, you should be, unless you are of voting age. First off, because of the obvious, you are not funding your education, the voters are, and secondly, it seems a bit selfish to make it about ‘YOU’ the school start date also affects future students, but most importantly it affects seasonal businesses, grandparents (who provide childcare) and other folks who may not have children in the school district but do fund the system.

Hopefully the school board will grow a brain this time around and listen to THE VOTERS (parents included) and not the whining of a handful of AP students and AP teachers.

This should bode well with voters if Huether decides to run for higher office

South Dakotans love nothing better then an elected official bragging about increasing taxes, especially property taxes;

Mayor Mike and Cindy Huether have long supported and advocated for the public school system. In fact, they were the co-chairs of the last two opt-out campaigns to increase funding for Sioux Falls public schools, along with many other leadership and stewardship roles.

Mike really likes to shoot himself in the foot lately, like calling transparency a slippery slope. Now he brags about wanting to raise our taxes as proof he supports education. Can’t wait for this tidbit to come out if he runs for higher office.

Is the school district putting out a SLANTED survey?

According to sources, the Sioux Falls School District appears to be using fraudulent figures in their school start date surveys.

How’s this?

Apparently the school district’s published polling is using some interesting voting procedures. Since the school district does not have a way to win in at the polling booth, they had to create a “poll” of the district to create a result. The Save of Schools (SOS) group fought to set a reasonable school start date and won an election in 2015. Time has flown by and it is time to set future school calendars. Reports are, the school district is not even talking to SOS (or barely). The district is ignoring SOS and pushing the recent polling in the press to make it look like the 2015 vote was a mistake. These appear to be the rules:

  1. If a household has No students, no vote or invitation to vote
  2. Every household with a student gets a vote
  3. Every school teacher gets a vote
  4. Every middle school student gets a vote, grades 6 through 8
  5. Every high school student gets a vote, grades 9 through 12

Think about this formula:

  1. The polling started out not letting households with no students zero (0) votes
  2. If the household has only grade school students, they get one (1) vote in the decision.
  3. If the household has a school teacher they get two (2) votes
  4. If the household has two (2) teachers they get three(3) votes
  5. If the household has one (1) to four (4) students in high school add additional voters to the household total
  6. If the household has any students in middle school we can let them add up to three (3) more votes to the total household votes

This is how it breaks down.

  1. You have no kids, you’re screwed, just pay your taxes and shut up
  2. You have kids in grade school, you only get one vote, suffer as they get older
  3. All other households can sway public opinion by stacking the votes to screw everyone else

If our math is even at the 4th grade level, we see a chance for some Sioux Falls households easily having ten (10+) votes versus the rest of us not having any or one. This is not a level playing field for all citizens of Sioux Falls. This is the Sioux Falls Public School system creating a fake groundswell for going back to the way it was before.

If this wasn’t a stacked poll to create a result favorable to the schools position, we would be calling it what it is; a fraud.

I have argued all along, the school district should just put the calendar start date on the ballot this coming summer with the school board candidate. Put down three dates; 3 weeks before labor day, after labor day, and somewhere in between. Seems simpler than conducting wasteful polls, surveys and committees. Just let the voters decide again, you know, the people who ACTUALLY fund the school district.

Mayor Huether gets his Trump on

I’m not opposed to people sending their kids to private school, but they shouldn’t get vouchers or public tax dollars to do so;

Sioux Falls public school leaders expressed disappointment Monday with Mayor Mike Huether’s decision to promote a national school choice campaign.

Huether signed a proclamation declaring this week to be “School Choice Week” in Sioux Falls. The observance coincides with National School Choice Week, a campaign largely supported by groups that advocate for taxpayer funding of private schools.

That’s why it is a choice, you choose to forgo publicly funding your kid’s education, so you don’t get those funds. Many parents would argue, “Hey, I pay taxes for funding public education, so I should be able to get that money.” Sorry pal, if that was how it worked, I would be paying ZERO taxes towards public education, in fact anyone with NO children currently in the public school system wouldn’t have to pay taxes. While it sometimes pains me the decisions our public schools make, and sometimes unfair taxation (tax on food to pay teachers) public education is an investment for all of us. That’s something called democracy.

As for the mayor signing this, I think half the time he has no idea what he is signing, probably why he declined an interview. But it also wouldn’t surprise if he did know, and did it out of his new found love for all things Trump.

South DaCola 2016 year in review (Part I)

art-maze-mower-lrArtMaze, one of the better parts of Sioux Falls life in 2016

2016 has been a rough year for citizen activism. While it has been up and down here in Sioux Falls with many successes and failures to boot, it seems Washington DC has gone into full collapse as we allowed racist, sexist, hillbillies to elect our president.

READ ABOUT 2015 REVIEW HERE.

But locally there were three things that stood out;

• Governor Daugaard claiming that voters were ‘hoodwinked’ into voting for IM 22, then getting the Pierre (in)justice system to go along with it. Funny how for over 40 years voters have been voting his party into power, and no word about ‘hoodwinking’ but once that corrupt power will be challenged, all the voters are idiots. As one official told me that used to work for Dennis, it’s not the public that are idiots, it’s Dennis. And his idiocy has been shining through.

• The South Dakota Democratic Party’s bottom completely fell out, and the people in charge patted themselves on the back. Insanity I tell you! Insanity!

• But one of the greatest achievements of the year is the Sioux Falls City Council’s change of power. The four new councilors have been flexing their muscles with a little help from Councilor Erickson, and while they have had a few missteps to start out, they have been learning from the battle scars. While ‘leadership’ of the council (Rolfing and Kiley) seem to be on a two man mission to rubberstamp all things Huether, shut down public input, and concoct false ethics charges against a fellow councilor (until they got caught lying like the snakes they are) they are becoming more and more in check. The city council has many big plans for 2017, and I have a feeling their agenda will push through easily as our lame duck mayor melts.

Let’s take a look at some the finer high and low points of 2016;

• The Huether Tennis center continues to block parking from other event attendees at the Sanford Sports complex though they basically stole $500K from taxpayers for the facility. Throughout the year there was several reports on cones and signs blocking the lot with not cars in it. But hey Mike’s Bride won an award this year and seemed surprised she did, without commenting that her check to the organization that gave the award wasn’t returned.

• The Sioux Falls City Council leadership and mayor’s HR department pulled a military retiree out of their asses for city clerk, a person who will be in charge of our city elections and hasn’t been registered to vote for years. He also proved his knowledge of official stamps when he stamped a petition without even bothering to read it. While Mr. Greco has gotten better over the year, the city clerk position should not be a $80K+ a year job as an apprentice, sadly being trained by one of his assistant clerks who has ten times the qualifications and applied for the position but was turned down. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the council chair’s view of women in the work place.

• Speaking of letting the mayor’s HR department and Leadership’s Mutt and Jeff pick the next internal auditor, the council barked loud enough that they did not want another ‘Greco’ pick. Not sure if the barking worked, but the person who was set to take the job saw the writing on the wall and turned it down. Hopefully the person who ultimately gets the position won’t be turned down because they shave their legs.

• The city continues to blow money on the Winter Wonderland Display, but the way the mayor has been cutting budgets these days, I expect next year’s display to be a couple of homeless barrel fire pits, sponsored by the Dudley House of course.

• After posting about the ridiculous corporate like raises the mayor has been giving to his management team, he turns around and still screws the minions with dismal raises again this year. I think in a special note to the city employees on their Christmas paystub he wrote, “I don’t care.”

• The city continues the FREE condom distribution program at area bars, and for some reason Monk’s is always emptied the quickest. Coincidence that is also a favorite watering hole of city managers . . .

• The Tuthill shooting case becomes ‘inactive’ and a tree branch shadow gets off scott free.

• The Erp wrongfully calls out local massage therapists as prejudice because they pointed out the ‘shower massages’ that were taking place around town. Apparently someone got a bad fortune cookie that day.

• The car rental tax and BID tax grabby-grabby fails in Sioux Falls, but the state legislature passes one of the most idiotic tax increases ever so our teachers are now just tied for last instead of dead last in pay. Out hoodwinking governor already has plans to rob the pot only one year after its passage.

• Hartford’s city government was in a state of collapse. Who really cares?

• The Levitt Pavilion is moving forward in Sioux Falls. It will be nice watching outdoor concerts sitting in the grass while battery acid is boiling beneath our asses.

• The Boulevard ordinance changes went into effect. Now stop worrying about rocks and plant a garden.

• The Washington Pavilion got a change of leadership after Darrin Smith takes over as President. So far he has only eliminated one director, but I hear the blood-letting has just begun. Now let’s throw another couple of million at the place to fix the poor construction to begin with. That will never happen with the Events Center . . .

• The Events Center cracks down on outside snacks and guns at events. We are all now safe from cheap fat people shooting us, but not in the parking lot.

• The Pottie Room war starts in Pierre and is guaranteed to return in 2017.

• A state legislator calls transgender people ‘twisted’. Now I’m struggling with what word to use describing our state legislators?

• A city council candidate throws a hissy fit over a post I wrote about his wife’s involvement with the Jesus plows and after threats to my employer I pull the post. He ends up taking last place in the at-large race. How’s Jesus working out for you now?

• Due to health reasons, Kermit Staggers decides not to run for a 4th term on the city council. His endorsement of Stehly puts her over the top.

• One of the youngest candidates in city history runs for city council. I apologize to Briggs for all the shitty things I said about him during the campaign.

• The Argus Leader sues the city for the details in the secret events center siding settlement. The Argus loses the first round but it is headed to the SD Supreme Court.

• On a similar note, the SON neighborhood is also awaiting a judgement in their Walmart suit with the SD Supreme Court.

• While our Sioux Falls City Council approves the DAPL through Sioux Falls, it takes thousands of protesters in ND to actually stop it. Too bad our city council chair doesn’t understand how to vote.

• The Mayor and Q-Tip Smith screwup the DT parking ramp development by flapping their traps to soon, and the council later on in the year returns the favor and defunds the ramp all together for 2017. I still think the fiasco is what got Smith to seek refuge at the Pavilion.

• City officials throw a hissy-fit over Bruce’s camera at a city meeting we were invited to by then city councilor Kenny Anderson. Looking back on it now, I just chuckle.

• Former city councilor Dean Karsky and now commissioner elect has become the official endorser in Sioux Falls.

• Bruce and I do a presentation on voter turnout in Sioux Falls at Democratic Forum and one of the mayor’s buddy developers in Sioux Falls tries to shut us down. When he fails, he walks out. Another casualty to transparency.