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New School Board Takes Over in West Clermont District
CINCINNATI, Ohio (Jeff Hirsh) -- West Clermont district students are in for something theyve never seen before, the tea party in charge.
Tea-party backed candidates took control of the school board in the November election. But thats not going over well with a new citizens group which thinks the new board will be bad for the district.
That group is holding a rally before Monday nights board meeting. The West Clermont school district may be facing some major changes because a new school board is coming and one of those board members says its necessary to, Slay the dragon that is public education in West Clermont.
New board member, Jim Lewis, said, Theres a monster were facing. We have the government, the teachers, the administrators on one side saying give us more money. And weve got the taxpayers saying were not going to give you any money and the taxpayers have been left out of everything.
But language like that scares a group of taxpayers who have founded a group called West Clermont United.
Nancy Jennings, A West Clermont United member, said, Absolutely it bothers us. We are very concerned about any type of school board that would try to deconstruct and tear down the district rather than bring it up.
The differences are philosophical and financial. Jim Lewis is one of three board members endorsed by the Clermont Liberty Pac, a tea party group. In an email to supporters, Lewis said the future of our nation depends on turning back the hands of time and teaching our children instead of propagandizing them.
Lewis vehemently opposes a new curriculum Ohio and many other states are implementing called The Common Core.
That will be one thing we will be rid of come hell or high water.
But West Clermont United says dropping Common Core could hurt students who will be tested on it anyway. The group also says future school levies are needed to bring back music, art, and gym in elementary schools and the school board needs to support that.
Jennings said, When I talk with other parents as to why they are leaving, they dont see any benefit for staying. They want their children to have these specials and they can find them in other places.
Lewis says hed like to bring back music, but, The people in the community are not willing to pay more taxes.
Lewis says hes speaking only as one board member but hed like to see West Clermont drop out of the Ohio School Boards Association and save the dues money. He also says it might be possible to cut some positions and perhaps even close a school in order to save money, maybe for elementary school music.
There may be a lot of battles between the board and the teachers union over money as well. Lewis has suggested teachers are making too much money while other district residents are hurting. Although a state audit says West Clermont teachers make less than teachers do in other similar districts.
Tea-party backed candidates also took control of the Union Township board of trustees, winning both seats on the ballot in November.