Tuesday, June 29, 2038
Thursday, June 24, 2038
Friday, May 28, 2038
Wednesday, February 27, 2036
Wednesday, April 11, 2035
Thursday, March 10, 2033
Monday, September 15, 2031
Note from this blogger.....
Monday, February 24, 2031
Tuesday, May 15, 2029
Gettin' a little tired.....
Saturday, April 29, 2028
I know, it's weird.........
Wednesday, February 24, 2027
This is an abbreviated version of the original 'Handy links' post. Click here to view a more complete list. (Some of it is old.)
Tuesday, February 24, 2026
Dennis Leone's STRS Report to ORTA, March 2007
Sunday, February 23, 2020
Friday, January 27, 2017
Handout to STRS Board members at their Education and Planning meeting 1/26/17
January 26, 2017
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
RH Jones: ORSC to try to take back 13th check?
On page 2 of the Winter 2015 ORTA Quarterly, Ann Hanning reports last in her list of the Ohio Retirement Study Council (ORSC): “removing the authority of the STRS board to issue a 13th check.” This is not the first time that the ORSC has considered backing the 13th check take away legislation. In 2004, the ORSC tried to “take back” this lawful benefit; and, if you readers would remember, on 10/19/2001, ORTA’s Executive Director of that time, David P. Travis, spoke before the STRS board in support of the 13th check (the Year-end [Christmas] Supplemental Clean-up check).
Bob Jones, retired OH teacher
Saturday, January 10, 2015
RH Jones: Retired teachers owe Attorney General DeWine our thanks
Please read Attorney General Mike DeWine’s press release below. We retired and active educators owe him our thanks for going after the American Capital Properties (ARCP) for their alleged “cover-up” of accounting fraud causing our OHSTRS to lose millions of dollars.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Ohio's Spineless State School Board
Instead of taking a stand for the value of nurses, counselors, social workers and the arts in education and pushing back against the Kasich administration’s funding cuts and increased testing mandates, the School Board voted to eliminate the “5 of 8″ rule from Ohio Administrative Code, setting the stage for the further decimation of these services in our schools.
It is appalling that the majority of the current members of Ohio’s School Board don’t recognize the value of the positions in our schools. Every single one of these highly-qualified and specially-trained professional positions are not only vital to the education of the whole child, but in many instances are crucial to the survival of children. The notion that these positions should only be available to those children in communities that can afford them is akin to educational malpractice on the state level.
Instead of Ohio’s Board members shrugging their shoulders and throwing up their hands and blaming school funding, this was an opportunity for the State Board to say, “Enough is enough!” At some point, the Board needs to stop taking direction from the General Assembly and act like the independent body they are supposed to be.
Today, the State School Board opted to lower the bar in order to accommodate Governor Kasich and the GOP majority in Ohio’s General Assembly who continue to under-fund schools while passing a seemingly endless stream of unfunded mandates like OTES, OPES, the Third Grade Reading Guarantee, the Resident Educator Program, diagnostic testing in the primary grades, the new Kindergarten Assessment, and the latest and greatest version of standardized testing via PARCC that will soon require schools to have all the latest technology simply to administer more tests. Instead, Ohio’s School Board members could have taken this opportunity to draw a line in the sand and raise the bar on what a meaningful educational environment truly looks like for all of Ohio’s children.
They could have listened. They plugged their ears.
They could have stood strong. They cowered.
They could have held the line. They retreated.
They could have fought for children. They surrendered to politics.
At this point I need to admit something. I (Greg) was wrong. To be blunt, I royally [screwed] up. In an article I wrote leading up to the elections, I recommended that you vote for School Board Candidate Ron Rudduck based on his extensive knowledge of Ohio’s messed up history of school funding. I erroneously thought that such knowledge would ave benefited us all in circumstances exactly like this that are a direct result of that screwed up funding process. I now wholeheartedly regret that recommendation and apologize to you, our readers. Instead of using his knowledge and experience to push back against a legislature that isn’t meeting the needs of our students, Rudduck has been at the forefront of pushing the elimination of the “5 of 8″ rule with statements defending his action that simply make no sense.
Here’s one of Rudduck’s statements: “I’ll tell you the truth, a lot of the superintendents I talk to, especially the young ones, didn’t even know there was a rule called the 5 of 8. So it leads you to believe it wasn’t involved in their decision making to begin with.”
Paraphrasing: “Some people in positions of highest authority are completely ignorant of the laws for which they are to be held accountable, so we can go ahead and get rid of them.”
The true story: You can be damn sure that the teachers and the unions that represent them in negotiating contracts are aware of the requirements.
Here’s another Rudduck zinger: “It happens a lot when districts fail levies, unfortunately, the first positions that are cut are these education service personnel positions.”
Paraphrasing: “Since schools are overly reliant on local tax dollars due to the absence of an equitable public school funding model at the state level, I do expect that many of these specialist positions will end up getting cut.”
The true story: Since schools are overly reliant on local tax dollars due to the absence of an equitable public school funding model at the state level, I do expect that many of these specialist positions will end up getting cut.
Finally, if you sense that I’m a bit ticked off, it’s because the elimination of this requirement is personal. My youngest son is:
- Type-1 diabetic and insulin-dependent since 4th grade (a school nurse has never been optional)
- Has played either strings or percussion since 4th grade, and is now in marching band & orchestra
- Had an outstanding, licensed, professional art teacher in elementary school that fostered his love of the visual arts
- Has had guidance counselors throughout his years of schooling who have been integral in coordinating intervention/enrichment services and will benefit from having guidance counselors at the high school level to assist him in looking at post-secondary education
- Despite being identified as gifted in every core subject area over the years (based on test scores, of course), he is tired of wasting school time on standardized tests, has told me he “hates Common Core” because it messed up his math classes, quickly adjusted to high school because of his previous musical experience and welcome acceptance into the marching band community, and has become increasingly independent at managing his diabetes with the daily encouragement of nurturing school nurses in elementary, middle, and now high school.
- And personally, my senior year of high school consisted of six music courses (men’s glee, marching/concert band, senior choir, handbell choir, jazz band, and ensemble) and only three core subject courses. And damn if I don’t use that ability to work collaboratively in a group while managing my independent responsibilities on a daily basis…
Don’t tell me these specialists will only exist when a community can afford them.
Don’t tell me about living in the “right” Zip Code.
Thursday, October 30, 2014
RH Jones: Time for that 13th check
Congratulations on being elected as our STRS OH Board President. I wish you good luck in your new leadership role.
All of us retired teachers have received the happy news that our OH STRS has now reached the 29.5 year funding level that will enable the board members to once again vote to authorize the very fairly calculated “Supplemental 13th Check”. It is my understanding that this vital supplemental check is still on the law books; and, since retired teachers have been especially hit at an alarming level with high medical and costly prescription medications this coming 2015, it is essential for those of us which have been retired over 20-years. Some did not even get their non-compounding COLA this year and its been 1/4-century since the state has issued an Ad-Hoc increase to keep us even with inflation.
As the “Holiday Season” fast approaches, it is incumbent that this be introduced to the board, voted upon, and passed by the STRS OH Board in the mid-November meeting. As our Retired Representative and our new board president it will be delightfully appreciated by many of us who have felt that there has been a lack of caring by our STRS OH over the past few years.
Most humbly requested,
Bob Jones, a retired STRS OH teacher
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Cleveland teachers, YOU are getting screwed BIG TIME!
I am David Quolke and I am the President of the Cleveland Teachers Union. There are many issues that I could talk to you about today. Many issues that I – and my members – think should be brought to your attention. However, today, I need to talk about Non-Reappointments.The first week in May, 70 of my members received notice that they were being recommended for non-reappointment. Now that number could be off because these were the numbers that I was given by the media after they spoke with CEO Gordon or someone from the District. When talking to the media – I explained that many of my members were blindsided when they received this news and that the CTU was blindsided also. You see, I have many cases of members who had good evaluations – developing and skilled all year long, who were taking on leadership roles in their schools, who have increased student achievement, who have a composite evaluation with developing and skilled ratings. So, yes, when these teachers were suddenly told in May that they were going to be recommended for non-reappointment they were indeed blindsided.Before you say to me – David, you know that state law does not require poor evaluations in order to non-reappoint a limited contract teacher. I know. I know. However, when the media came to the CEO regarding the teachers that were being recommended for non-reappointment – here are some of the quotes directly from CEO Gordon:“We have a few people that either can’t or won’t. These are the people that our principals say are not meeting the expectations for our kids.”“At some point if you are not getting the job done, we shouldn’t continue to pay you to do it.”“It’s new for us to evaluate this thoroughly. It’s part of the Cleveland Plan to make sure that we have the right people in front of kids.”So I ask you –Is it a part of the Cleveland Plan to non-reappoint teachers with Skilled evaluations?Is it a part of the Cleveland Plan to non-reappoint teachers with Skilled evaluations who have made a year’s worth of growth with their students in just 5 months?Is it a part of the Cleveland Plan to non-reappoint teachers that were hired in October, November, December and are Developing (where a new teacher should be) or a combination of Developing and Skilled?Is it a part of the Cleveland Plan to non-reappoint teachers that are Developing or a combination of Developing and Skilled who are taking on leadership roles, such as AR Champion or in servicing staff on SLOs (at the request of the principal) or who are accepting students from the local universities to observe their classes?Is it a part of the Cleveland Plan to non-reappoint teachers that start in September, score Developing and Skilled on evaluations, and take over 100 hours in voluntary professional development?Is it a part of the Cleveland Plan to non-reappoint teachers that are described like this by an administrator “His relationship with scholars and teachers resulted in one of the most successful classrooms in the district. I placed some scholars in his classroom knowing that it would be their last chance for success within CMSD.I hope that none of this is a part of the Cleveland Plan. If it is – this should serve as a dangerous warning to all people enrolled in local teacher preparation programs – Come work in Cleveland where we ignore teacher Development and get rid of you simply because we can.I know what you are thinking and what some people are already saying. The teachers union protects bad teachers. David Quolke wants bad teachers teaching kids no matter what the cost. I know that these words are already echoing in city hall, at 1111, and throughout the community. Let me be very clear – THAT IS NOT TRUE. It is a lie. I am furious about these non-reappointments. The officers of the CTU have worked around the clock in hearings for members over the last two weeks. There are good teachers that are doing the things that I want my daughter’s teachers to do. There are good teachers doing the things and the good work that our development and evaluation system ask for. There are good teachers doing what is needed to increase student learning and student achievement. They do not deserve to be recommended to this Board for non-reappointment.So obviously a logical question would be – why are these people being recommended for non-reappointment? I have no answer for you. I can only speculate, but it is certainly a question that must be asked and answered by the people who engineered this massive non-reappointment of good and qualified teachers.I think some people will look at tonight’s Board agenda and see that one of the items is a resolution to approve $400,000 to hire Teach For America teachers. Are these non-reappointments to make room for Teach for America? I will not bash Teach for America. They are our colleagues and once hired work shoulder to shoulder with us trying their very best to educate our students. But the irony of non-reappointing new teachers in order to replace them with Teach for America is that TFA does what the district should be doing – provide mentors and support. That is the actual Developing of a teacher that CMSD has completely abandoned.Great way to recruit and develop a talented work force.Sounds more to me like the beatings will continue until the morale improves. Not a good strategy for real reform.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
If your hospital tells you they want 'cash up front', tell 'em to 'take a hike!'
Some other service providers, such as the travel industry, expect payment upfront, so it’s not unprecedented for the health-care industry to do the same, said Debra Lowe, the hospital’s administrative director of revenue cycle.
Thursday, May 15, 2014
STRS Board Meeting May 15, 2014
Friday, April 25, 2014
STRS Board Meeting April 24, 2014
1) The STRS Board as fiduciaries had a recent recommendation of their consulting actuary (Segal Co.) to increase the mitigating rate to 5.5% and:2) the study being called for should be conducted by an actuarial firm and the systems for which the mitigating rate is an issue should be consulted (the systems were STRS, OPERS, and SERS). STRS Ohio worked with Rep. Dan Ramos (D_Lorain) to change the language.
a) Medical Mutual Plus and Basic plans will have an increase of deductible and coinsurance for both In-Network and Out-of Network plans as well as two in-network primary care visits at $20. each in the Basic Plan.b) The Aetna Plan will have a reduction of In-Network copay for primary care physician, specialist physician, deductible, out-of pocket limit but the same 4% coinsurance percentage. Aetna will have an increase in Out-of-Network copays for the above physicians, deductibles, out-of-pocket limit, and coinsurance percentage 6%.
a) Continue the Health Care Assistance programs at $0 premium with an increase to the emergency room copayment to $150 from $50 and increase the covered brand-name drug copayment to $20 from $15 at retail, and to $40 from $30 for home delivery.b) Continue Medicare Part B premium reimbursement at 2014 levels for plan years 2015 & 2016.c) Limit Medicare Part B reimbursement to benefit recipients enrolled in an STRS Ohio Medicare plan.d) Discontinue subsidies and Medicare Part B premium reimbursement for individuals who become survivors on or after Jan. 1, 2015.e) Continue the current Delta Dental and Vision Service Plan programs for the next two year period 2015 and 2016.f) Apply the same 2.2% subsidy multiplier used for the Aetna and Medical Mutual plans to the regional plans based solely upon the costs of the regional plans not to exceed the base plan subsidy.
a) Discontinue the Medical Mutual Plus Plan. The Medical Mutual Basic Plan will have an In-Network deductible of $2,500 and out-of- pocket of $4,000.b) Aetna Plan will have the same In-Network reductions as in 2015 except the deductible will be $150 and will also have Skilled Nursing/Home Health Care of 2%. Out-of-Network will be the same as 2015 except that specialist physicians will be $55. and out-of-pocket will be $2,000, coinsurance will be 8%, and Skilled Nursing/ Home Health Care will be 4%.c) Express Scripts will change the maximum allowable amount to the 2016 standard Medicare Part D limitd) Discontinue AultCare, Health Span, and Paramount plans. Now I do not recall any motions or voting on this first peek at proposed changes in our health care program so maybe this first look at HC programs will be subject to change in the future.