Rep. Navarro vs. Dr. Jason Glass’s View

OP ED from Colorado State House Representative – Clarice Navarro – House District 47

HD 47 = Pueblo County and including Fremont & Otero Counties.

Topic:  Proposed House Bill 1162 – Accountability and Administrative Salaries of poorly performing – Colorado Public School Districts.

Dateline Feb. 2016:  Eagle County, Colorado – the last known Public School Superintendent’s Salary from October 2011 was – $192,384.74/yr)  Unknown what Dr. Jason Glass’s Salary is today, however doubtful it has been reduced over ther last (5) years…

Representative-Clarice-Navarro-21FEB2016Rep. Navarro:  Education is the primary foundation to the success of this country, and students from all walks of life should be able to flourish academically. Now more than ever our children are being disadvantaged by the lack of funding and the spending problems we are seeing in the education system. There is no easy fix, however increasing budget transparency and encouraging parental involvement for failing school districts is a step in the right direction.

House Bill 1162 would require advance public notice of proposed salary increases for administrators of low-performing public education entities. If passed, the bill will require a public notice of at least seven days before the governing board meeting at which the proposed salary increase would be discussed or voted on. The goal of this legislation is to encourage the voices of taxpayers and parents to take an active part in setting budgetary priorities in Colorado’s low performing schools/school districts. Essentially this bill will create an extra level of transparency, and it in no way impedes a school board’s ability to make decisions. I strongly believe in local control and transparency, and this bill promotes both.

Throwing money at a problem doesn’t solve problems, but taking care of the money that’s already there certainly helps. When I hear demands for increases in funding for education, I have a hard time supporting raises for administrators before we take a hard look at the performance of the school. Are we really doing our students justice if we are increasing salaries instead of utilizing that money in the classroom and directly benefiting the students? While I don’t have the magic fix for this problem, I do know that transparency never hurts.

I recently used the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) to request information regarding salary increases and bonuses for administrators of failing school districts (FY-13/14, FY14/15 and FY15/16). I was shocked that many received salary increases, and there were even bonuses revealed. I was most shocked to see so many receiving automatic raises as per their original contracts. I’m not running this bill to second guess an elected board of education, that’s not my place, but it is my place to remain mindful of the tax payers, the parents, and the students. Transparency in budgetary prioritization matters. (Approximately 180 schools statewide.)

Colorado Salary Averages: The average teacher’s salary in Colorado is $48,276.88 while the average superintendent’s salary in Colorado is $114,386.09 according to the Colorado Department of Education’s website.

ECT’s Question:  Why are Eagle County’s Public Schools performing so poorly – when our Public School Superintended is paid – SO MUCH?  (Click Here)

It’s time we take a look at how we are spending money in failing schools that are under the priority improvement plan or turnaround status. I have no problem with salary increases, however I do have a problem if the budgetary priorities don’t match that of the community these schools serve. There needs to be a higher level of budget transparency and a higher level of consideration of parent and community input in the decision making process.

School board members and Coloradans alike want to see students reach their full potential, and House Bill 1162 will lead to transparency that will ensure appropriate usage of education funding without interfering with the school board decision making authority.

The students of today are the leaders of the future, and that’s why it is critical that we encourage budgetary transparency for education. If passed this bill is a step in the right direction.

Representative Navarro began her service in 2013, and is serving in her 2nd term. The Representative is a native of Southeastern Colorado, proudly serving Fremont, Otero and Pueblo Counties.

For more information on Representative Clarice Navarro please visit: www.clarice47.com

Meanwhile from EC Superintendent – Dr. Jason Glass

(from Education Week – 30JULY2015)

Just Click –ON Graphic Below to read entire Story

Glass-21FEB2016

EC School Superintendent – Dr. Jason Glass

by Clayton Moore

The ECT folks have a question for Eagle County Parents – that send their children to School here.

Specifically, to the Parents who choose to send their children to local schools other than our Eagle County Public Schools – that Dr. Glass is in charge of…

Q.)  In the last several weeks of reading Dr. Glass’s (weekly Wednesday column) in the Fishwrap – have you read anything from Dr. Glass that convinces you – your children would get a better Education in Eagle County Public Schools – than where your children are Educated today?

The ECT folks have carefully studied and read all of Dr. Glass’s columns on EducationJason-Glass and we have reached two undeniable conclusions.

1 – Dr. Glass has good intentions when it comes to the issue of Education.

2 –  Dr. Glass wants millions more of Colorado Taxpayer money to be spent on – Public School Education.

What we have not learned from reading Dr. Glasses weekly/Wednesday columns is…

Specifically…

1 –  What Eagle County Public Schools need the most attention from Dr. Glass and his well paid army of Administrators?

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2 –   What local Public schools (based on their test scores) are doing the best?

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3 – What metrics does Dr. Glass believe is the best measure of a Schools performance?

4 –  Does Dr. Glass intend to reward the best performing Teachers while helping other teachers improve their skills?  Specifically, how – Dr. Glass?

5 – Why do Dr. Glass’s (Wednesday readers) know more about Dr. Glass (State/Lobbying/Get More Money) efforts – than his (specific/public) Superintendent efforts to improve their child’s Public School education?

Great things for our local Public Schools are not expected to happen overnight…Frankly, the ECT folks are not sure…just exactly what Dr. Glass is doing to improve Education for all our children in local Public Schools.

Do our local Parents know?   Please contact the ECT if you have any specific, documented information we can use for a (Click Here)…and Parents that have your children in local schools (other than Public Schools) please tell the ECT why…

School Vouchers & EC Superintendent Dr. Jason Glass

by  Clayton Moore

Our EC Superintendent’s case for – School Vouchers?

In that context Eagle County Public School Superintendent – Dr. Jason Glass has some recent written comments worthy of special attention.

For those concerned the ECT may have taken Dr. Glass’s comments “out of context” (Click Here) to read Dr. Glass’s entire column.

Superintendent-Dr-Jason-Glass-makes-the-case-for-School-VouchersDr. Glass’s frustration with Colorado’s current legislative process for allocating ~$1 Billion in Public School Funding – comes across as crystal clear as his personal name sake.  The ECT folks are 100% in agreement with Dr. Glass’s assessment and the ECT will strengthen Dr. Glass’s argument by insisting that what is really needed – is a completely new legislative process in Colorado (other States are doing this now) called School Vouchers!

School choice (read: market based competition) as driven by the Parents of all our Students – instead of today’s failing process of State Legislature with Public School Administration is what needs to change.  Our current Public School method of funded/unfunded mandates, testing by CSAP/TSAP (or whatever is in vogue this school year) is a process that is failing our Students and frustrating too many of our Teachers.  ECT agrees Dr. Glass on this point.

It’s time to put the folks who have the most personal interest in their child’s Education – the Parents – back in charge.

The ECT will acknowledge that School Voucher programs are not 100% perfect – however we continue to believe (as demonstrated in other States today) that putting Parents in charge with School Vouchers and market based competition between neighboring Schools will be a big improvement over what Colorado has today.

Where Dr. Glass and the ECT disagree – is Dr. Glass’s request for more local School District control vs. the ECT’s desire to put our Parents in control as much as possible.

ECT also wants Dr. Glass’s State funding to be driven by the number of Students desiring entrance to his managed School vs. the other neighborhood school Dr. Glass must compete against.  To date, Dr. Glass has not demonstrated ANY desire to compete for your family’s education dollars.  A point the ECT believes should be made to all Parents working in their own competitive job market.

Consider Dr. Glass – that when our Students graduate – they will enter a competitive market place in business – a lesson about Competition that the ECT believes should be taught and made in the Classroom – as well as on the Sports playing field whether here in Eagle County or the “world-class” competition happening in Sochi today.

Dr. Glass – may need new Glasses

by  Clayton Moore

Dr. Jason Glass is our Eagle County Public School Superintendent.

Last week – Dr. Glass advised Eagle County voters – on what his view and position is on Colorado’s Proposition 104.  Yes, Proposition 104 is a Colorado State wide Ballot question that is printed on your Eagle County Ballot – for you to vote on.

From Dr. Glass’s column last week – (he wants you to vote No!)

Dr-Glass-on-Prop-104

Here is the actual Ballot Language that is printed on your Eagle County Ballot!

Prop-104-Ballot-Language

Say What, Dr. Glass?  Ambiguous and Poorly Worded?

For the Record the ECT folks recommend you VOTE YES! on Proposition 104 – if for no other reason than “open and transparent” governance is a good thing.

Dr. Glass might want to get his reading glasses checked.  ECT not sure why the word “any” confuses Dr. Glass in the above Ballot Language.  Ambiguous Ballot Language?  Not to the ECT – however having studied some of the TCAP/TSAP Public School scores and ranking reports – and the word “ambiguous” came to mind many times while trying to get a reasonable “handle” on what we were reading about the overall performance of Eagle County Public Schools.  There is little chance of Dr. Glass reasonably explaining his/our Public School “state rankings” if Dr. Glass finds this Ballot Language ambiguous…

‘nuff said – VOTE YES!

Eagle County’s – Property Tax Bomb – Is ticking away…

The Fuse has been lit.  In less than (10) months the new 2018 Eagle County Property Tax Explosion – will Detonate…and you’ll be forced to pay up!

The information (about your Eagle County Property Taxes) recently printed in the Vail Daily (Rondeau P. A6 -23MAR) was inaccurate and wildly misleading. Here are the FACTS.

1 – Your Property Taxes on Commercial and Residential are going UP next Year (2018) and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.

3A-Ballot-Clip2 – This new (Taxpayer Voted on/approved Nov. 2016) Property Tax increase is due to EC School District Ballot Issue 3B.

3 – The Property Tax increase you’ve already experienced on your January 2017 Bill is due to EC School District Ballot Issue 3A also approved by the EC majority voter in November 2016.

It turns out…our EC School District did not actually “Bond” for the additional Debt (3B) until (approximately) the last week of January 2017 – Bond Term 20 years . By that time your (2017) Property Tax Bill had already been printed and U.S. Mailed with the EC School District’s increased Mill Levy to – 25.209 Mills, reflecting the additional Tax increase for (3A). 3A’s Tax obligation covers the additional $8Million/yr. expense spending by the School District – till December 31st 2023. Comparing the Debt Service Property Tax obligation of 3A vs. 3B is like comparing a Firecracker to a Nuclear explosion.

How much will my Residential and Commercial Property Taxes go up next Year?

Answer: As of March 2017 – it’s impossible to say (exactly) how much. Why? Two major factors need to be considered. First, per Colorado State Statue a “State Wide” Property “re-evaluation” is already underway by the EC Assessors office. Expect to see your new Property Valuation official letter from our Assessors office this Summer 2017. That new Eagle County Property Valuation is expected to be higher (in most cases) than the Property Valuation you received – two years earlier.

Second is the “rebalancing effect” of the Colorado Gallagher Amendment that will be3B-Ballot-Language-November-2016 enforced soon. Per State Statue – Property Tax Rates are different between Commercial and Residential Property. Currently, Residential being 7.96% and Commercial at 29%.

Some Colorado Tax advisors believe a Residential Tax Rate will likely drop below 7.96% – due to the increase in Colorado’s population (mostly on the Front Range) and the fact there are more new Homes paying Property Tax.

Know This: Regardless of the variable effects of Gallagher and Property Re-Assessment – the new annual/additional Debt Service School Bond obligations MUST be paid each Tax year to come.

Time will tell exactly – however what you need to know is that your Eagle County Property Taxes will unquestionably go UP – in January 2018…far more than, Jason Glass and your elected School Board members– are willing to “publically admit” to you today.

School District’s Superintendent Salary & Benefits

Credit – for this documented information – given to Superintendent Dr. Jason Glass and School District/CFO  – Ms. Sandra Mutchler

Dr. Glass:   “Typically, we figure benefit costs at 33% on top of Salary when budgeting for total compensation costs. Schools are required to offer health and retirement plans — it’s not an optional expense we can cut”.

Our School District reported that our Superintendent – Dr. Jason Glass receives an annual salary of $195,500.00.  Add to that $64,515.00 (33% in Benefits) and an additional/presumed (unknown) amount as a (performance bonus?) for achieving and improving certain test scores of our Students in the District.

Minimum total annual salary:  $260,015.00   ECT suggests that the Dr. Jason Glass family can reasonably afford all these proposed new tax increases.  Can your family?

Below is from a recent/published “straight talk” from Dr. Glass.

ECT finds Dr. Glass number of 33% noticeably higher (more than double) than the number the District’s CFO ( Ms. Sandra Mutchler) passed on to the ECT at 16% in her Pie Chart. (Click Here)

Glass's-Straight-Talk

Outside of our School District (that teaches roughly 9 months of the year) – does anyone know any other Eagle County business (today) that offers their employees a Benefits package of 33% of their Annual Salary?

Just asking.

More Curious Election FACTS:   In November 2006 Eagle County Voters rejected a ballot issue (1A) that would have caused County Taxpayers to pay more in Taxes on what is collectively known today as “Early Childhood Development”.  (Click Here)  Their Ballot Issue/plan was to collect then spend new Taxes on/for children not old enough to attend Public School in Kindergarten.  Recall that Colorado State Statute provides for a “free” and legal Public School Education for children once old enough to attend K-12.  Their (1A) Ballot issue (it didn’t pass) would have LEGALLY allowed your Tax money to be spent on children before they were old enough to attend Public School Kindergarten.

Now 10 Years Later (2016):  Our Eagle County School District is paying Ms. Shelley Smith a reported annually Salary of $84,541.29 for her services as our Administrator of “Early Childhood Education”.

ECT certain Ms. Smith is a very nice lady and works very hard.

ECT just can’t figure out why our School District is paying for Services – earlier rejected by the Voters in 2006.  Can you?  Ms. Smith’s hire date reported to be 7/6/2009.

-CM

 

 

 

 

Business and Tax Logic? Where?

by    Concerns about – Higher Education

Diane-Mitsch-Bush-22MAY2016Eagle County’s State Representative – Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush (D) is a well intended individual that works hard for Eagle County – at the State House in Denver.  She is up for Re-election this November 2016.

What concerns the ECT this week – is Rep. Mitsch Bush’s (Business/Tax Logic?) – along with Eagle County Public School Superintendent – Dr. Jason Glass.

The Concern:    Their “Debt Free Schools Act”

Too-Much-Debt-18MAY2016-1

So let’s see if the ECT has this – “Straight”?

Bush’s and Glass’s “Business Logic”? –  The way to lower the amount of DEBT that our Colorado Public Schools have – is to SHIFT that DEBT to the Property Owners in the School District – and away from the District’s Balance Sheet…

HUH?

So what’s been proposed IS NOT a reduction in overall School DEBT – just a SHIFT in “who is responsible” to pay for it.  RIGHT?

And their “Business Logic” is designed to appeal to “who”?  Local Accountants?  Bankers? Mortgage Loan Officers?  Property Tax Payers?

Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush has her PhD in Sociology and Social Policy from the U of Minnesota.  For his part, Dr. Glass – his PhD from Seton Hall University.

The ECT will repeat our Concerns – about Higher Education in our Country today.

KEEP IN MIND:  Colorado is our Country’s “Centennial State”.  Tax Fact is…Colorado isBetsyross 100 years behind those East Coast States – that have their State Legislators – trying to Raise Taxes with that 100 year “Head Start”.  That Tax Fact is the biggest reason why Colorado Taxes are lower that the East Coast States.

Now ask yourself why there isn’t a MASS MIGRATION of Families moving to those East Coast States – where they’ve have a 100 year “head start” improving their Public Schools – by throwing more Tax money at them…

-CM

Diane Mitsch Bush – Feedback and Disclaimer

(Click Here) to read the original Error – by Fishwrap Reporter – Ross Leonhart

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