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Not Enough Said
Herald-Standard & Rep. Tim Mahoney in League to Bait & Switch Public
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Radio Talk Show Host Fails to Study School Consolidation for Fayette County Study
Not Enough Said project of: Net the Truth Online
Rep. Mahoney Reading Not Enough Said? Poses Study Could Show No Savings by Admin. Consolidation?
Fayette Special: Model for Other Power Grabbing PA State Legislators to Follow
PA Rep. Tim Mahoney Proposal to House Education Cmte Shows Goal To Wrest Local Control
County-wide School District Legislation Allows Board of Commissioners Authority to Equalize District
Not Enough Said on This Issue Site per Proposal for Fayette Vo-Tech/STEM Center
Confirmation Why Herald-Standard Didn't Question Rep. About His Advisory Committee
Plan for Countywide School District Consolidation = Fayette Forward Strategic Plan
Report PA School Consolidation Cost Effectiveness
Rep. Mahoney Claims After Consolidation Savings 15% to 20% Where We Ask?
Is Rep. Tim Mahoney About to Change Structure of School Administration All on His Own?
Herald-Standard & Rep. Tim Mahoney in League to Bait & Switch Public
Candidates for School Directors On the Fence or Supportive Urged to View Wealth of Critical Studies
Herald-Standard Disappointed School Board Candidates Not All Rosey County Consolidation
Study: consolidation of school districts into larger units leads to higher dropout rate!
We Can Hear It Now Some of my Opponents Don't Want The People To Decide
We Can Hear it Now: Are You Against the People Deciding Consolidation Choice
Report PA School Boards Association Study on Consolidation 2009
Cost Savings Claimed 2 Years Before Local Study Begins Now Claim Lowered!
Bid Process? Study Weighted to Cost-Savings Due to Results for Center & Monaca Consolidations?
Does Consolidation into Large District Save Costs?
Did Merged Districts Hold True to Standard & Poor Study: Taxes May Rise in 1 District
Merged Monaca & Center School Districts Less than 2,999 Students!
First Eliminate School Property Taxes, Candidate Says, Then We'll See @ Consolidation?
Central Valley School District: Archetype for (Fayette) County-wide Consolidation?
What is the Impact of Consolidation (into larger district) on Students?
What is the Impact of Consolidation (into larger district) on Rural Community?
No Public Referendum Required for Two or More School Districts to Merge
PA Economy League Report Municipal and School District Functional Mergers & Structural Consolidation
Experts Slam Consolidation Small/Medium Size Districts into Larger One
Not Enough Said Requests Talk Show Host Read Standard & Poor Study
Legislation Designed to Enable Boards of County Commissioners Power to Place Measure on Ballot
Article: PA Legislators Push Plans for School Consolidation
Fayette School Director Candidates Take Opposing View of Countywide Consolidation Plan
Get It Spot On and Don't Cover Up When You Don't
Unified Countywide School District for "Taxation Purposes"
Uniformity in the Course of Study in the Schools of the Several Grades
Rep. Mahoney Meets With Herald Standard Editorial Board
PA Dept. of Ed. Retirees Now Education Management Group Consultants to Conduct Study
Promise Local Sub-districts in Countywide School Retain Local Identity
Book of Quotes by Not Enough Said
Links per county-wide school consolidation issue
Contact Me
Stop Uniform Curriculum County-Wide School Consolidation Power Grab
Fayette County Commissioner Candidates Responses to School Regionalization Question
Tribune-Review article per PA school consolidation legislation
Article: Region to Benefit from 2 New STEM Education Centers
Herald-Standard Article: Unity between Business and Education Needed in Fayette County
Marcellus Shale Gas Program of Interest Not an Endorsement
Radio Talk Show Host: Gas Impact Concerns Citizens Demand DEP Resolve
Votefix will be providing an update soon

Headline by Not Enough Said
 
Submission "Article Raises More Questions Than Answers: A Dissection of Bait and Switch" by Robert J. Frasconi

NESE is Not Enough Said Editor
 
H-S.com is Herald-Standard.com highlighted links are to:
 
School District Consolidation Study to Begin by Carla DeStafano May 13, 2011
 
 
RJF is Robert J. Frasconi
 

"Article Raises More Questions Than Answers: A Dissection of Bait and Switch"

H-S.com An education management company has been hired to perform a consolidation study that will examine the potential cost savings of combining all six Fayette County school districts.


RJF Who hired Education Management Group (EMG) LLC to do the consolidation study?


H-S.com According to state Rep. Tim Mahoney, D-South Union Township, who proposed the consolidation, officials of The Education Management Group (EMG) LLC will begin the study immediately with a projected completion date sometime in August.

RJF Again, who made the decision that EMG would perform the study? 

H-S.com "My goal is to have it on the referendum in November," Mahoney said.


RJF What piece of legislation empowers Rep. Mahoney to place a school consolidation referendum on the county election ballot in November?  Last we checked, Mahoney is not a sitting Fayette County commissioner.  Moreover, Fayette County commissioners do not possess the legal authority to place a school consolidation referendum on the ballot.


H-S.com Consultants Dr. Donald Boyer and Dr. Ronald Stainbrook of EMG met with Mahoney and an advisory board of education officials, area business owners and community organization leaders on Thursday to answer questions and discuss the move that calls for the consolidation of administrations and business operations of the public school districts in the county.


RJF Who are these people?  Why aren’t the members of the “advisory board of education officials, area business owners and community organization leaders” identified?  Why is Rep. “Open Records” (so-called) holding shadowy, closed-door meetings with unidentified “advisory board” members?


H-S.com The study, paid for by a $100,000 state grant, will include a close look at the operations in Uniontown Area, Albert Gallatin Area, Brownsville Area, Connellsville Area, Laurel Highlands and Frazier school districts.

RJF We’re informed that the study will be “paid for by a $100,000 state grant.” (May 13, 2011)  However, in another H-S article , we're informed the cost for the study will be $68,000 (May 11, 2011, Steve Ferris)

What happened to the other $32,000?  The legislator who spouts about holding others accountable needs to be held to account for this discrepancy.  Will the Uniontown Redevelopment Authority, who is to administer the grant, receive the $32,000?  Why?  When all the authority is going to do is wait for the study to be completed, does it really take $32,000 to “administer the grant”?

 
RJF EMG was selected by whom?  We are not told, but we know that the Uniontown Redevelopment Authority (URA) hired EMG.  ...the authority hired the Education Management Group of Harrisburg to conduct a study of the administration costs of school districts in the county...  It strains credulity to think that URA did so without input from Rep. Mahoney’s advisory board and without direct input from Mahoney himself.  How was EMG selected?  Was there a competitive bidding process?  If not, why not?  If the independent studies conducted by EMG in the local districts were done in the recent past, why would the study cost $68,000 to complete, given the data would yet be applicable?

RJF In light of what we have learned thus far by the dissection of this article, this statement by Rep. Mahoney is laughable.  Does he actually believe that holding non-public meetings with an “advisory board” whose members remain undisclosed is trying “to do this study in an open and honest way”?
 
 
RJF We at Not Enough Said relish laying it out the way it is.  Rest assured that we will not sugar coat anything.  That includes not sugar coating the massive power grab that is now apparent in Fayette County.  

RJF While Dr. Boyer finds it difficult to provide “concrete answers until after the study reveals whether or not the consolidation is feasible in the county,” the fact the study has not yet begun has not prevented Rep. Mahoney from offering wildly optimistic forecasts of savings.  As we have documented, Rep. Mahoney has made unsubstantiated projections of 25-30 percent savings, which subsequently were pared back to 15-20 percent.  But even these more restrained estimates seem overly optimistic.  In light of the 2007 Standard and Poor's study  that shows per capita costs actually increase in districts where student population exceeds 3,000, and noting that EMG’s study has not yet begun, it strikes us that Rep. Mahoney’s grandiose savings projections have been, at the very least, premature, and at the most, highly irresponsible.
"Based on the configuration of the county, I don't think there is any possibility of changing anything with the high schools," Boyer said. "But we will be looking at elementary schools. There's always a lot of emotion attached to that, but it's a combination of technology and dwindling population that determines (a building's) future use."

One might, at this point, ask why Fayette County has a dwindling population.  At this point, those in political power may want to fetch a mirror!


 
RJF One Cyber School.  One alternative school.  One vocational-technical school.    There will also be a uniform curriculum, “uniform millage” rate and “consistent salaries for teachers and staff.”  
 
Oneness and uniformity permeate the plan; however, “savings” are not guaranteed, as Rep. Mahoney himself later admits in this very article. 
 
For example, one of the reasons that actual savings may not materialize in a consolidation is that salaries for teachers and staff naturally tend to gravitate toward the higher salary levels of the constituent districts, not the lower levels. 
 
As for “uniform millage,” one need only study the Central Valley School District merger  to realize that while a uniform millage rate may result in tax decreases for some property owners, for other property owners it portends tax increases.
 
RJF Here is where the rubber meets the road in Rep. Mahoney’s school consolidation plan.  Instead of decision-making staying in the hands of 54 elected individuals, the consolidation plan push, like the force of a tornadic vortex sucking up everything in its path, uproots local control and leaves in its wake what can only be described as a disaster of governmental proportions -- a highly centralized, seven-member board of school directors with power that would make a Russian czar blush. 
 
Mahoney suggests that the directors be paid.  How much they are to be paid remains unsaid.  However, if those directors are to be compensated, any realized savings from reductions in administrative staff would soon evaporate. 
 
The pay will be to get qualified (read: politically-connected) people on the board. 
 
 
Here Mahoney uses ‘districts’ (plural), when under his plan, there would be only one county-wide school district (singular).
 
 He could, however, have meant alleged nepotism within current school districts.  If so, one might ask how he would come to expect to eradicate nepotism by concentrating hiring power in a seven-member, county-wide school board. 
 
Most likely, the seven super-directors would control nepotism all right.  They’d control it for their own benefit, and hiring would become ever more politically-charged!
 

RJF Who are these officials in Harrisburg that say school districts “could see 15 percent to 20 percent in savings after consolidation”?
 
RJF Rep. Mahoney now admits there may be no savings at all!  Amazingly, this admission comes after he has irresponsibly touted 25-30 percent savings (subsequently pared back to 15-20 percent savings).
Tellingly, Mahoney relates that he would “put that 15 percent we save back into education without anyone’s taxes going up.”

Did you catch the bait and switch? 
 
First, Mahoney sells the deal as saving property owners money on their property taxes, but he intends on pouring any “savings” back into education! 
 
NESE  Did he let that one inadvertently slip!
 
RJF So, in reality, Rep. Mahoney doesn’t intend to “save” the taxpayers any money!
 
Bottom line:  Property owners will see no reduction in taxes, even if savings are to be had!!!  (which even he now admits the study consultants could come back with "don't do anything.  No savings...")
 
 
RJF He has to pay those qualified, professional (read: politically-connected) school directors, don’t you know?
 
This is absolutely astonishing.  He sells his consolidation plan as tax relief, but he never intends on providing any relief!

Bait and switch.

Under Mahoney’s school consolidation plan, taxes will not go down even if savings are realized!

Bait and switch.

Mahoney has moved from a platform of property tax elimination, to the false carrot of property tax reduction, to an outright admission that there will be no reduction whatsoever!
 
Bait and switch. 
 
NESE And the Herald-Standard.com is complicit in the promise-game, the promise that can't be kept (as studies show costs go up in larger units of government!). 

RJF If a Fayette County political huckster ran on a power grabbing platform of ever-higher, property tax rates and less parental say in education, could he get re-elected?

Stay tuned.  We may just find out!
 
NESE We're taking futures bets long before Lady Luck Casino gets up and running...

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Not Enough Said got a start in early May  2011

Net the Truth Online and Dare Inquire Representatives Truth  remain current sites that preceded this site.
 

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