Tuesday, March 26, 2013


North Canton City Schools are looked upon as being one of the very best if not the best public school system in Stark County.

That is if you are looking at the system's academic profile.

But if one looks at the quality of its bus fleet, it may be a different matter.

Due to the fact the State of Ohio has cut its school bus subsidy program to ZERO over the past 10 years or so from a 50% of the purchase price of a bus (about $85,000 each), North Canton is struggling to keep it bus fleet up-to-date.

The Dogwood City's fleet is 67% older than 12 years of age and it has buses as old as 22 years old.

Alliance captures the prize among Stark County school districts in terms of aged school buses:  100% of its fleet is 12 years old or better with a least one bus being 18 years old.

While Stark County school administration officials are to be complimented for their superlative maintenance of the aged fleet (only 7 out of nearly 600 buses failed inspection), isn't it only a matter of time that an incident occurs in which the safety of Stark County children is put at risk because a bus breaks down in a critical situation?

Moreover, maintenance becomes more and more expensive to local school districts (i.e. local tax dollars being applied less and less efficiently) escalating to the point that maintenance of a given bus outstrips the cost of buying a new one.

The information in the blog comes from an Akron Beacon Journal report of Saturday, (LINK) to wit:

For Stark Countians, the comments in the article attributed to the highly respected Tuslaw (Tuscarawas Township) superintendent Al Osler are poignant:
“It’s a continuation of the shift from the state supporting public schools to having the local district bear the burden of everything, so it’s a shift to the local taxpayer,” said Alan Osler, superintendent of Tuslaw Schools.

He remembers a time about 10 years ago when the state paid about 50 percent of the cost of a new bus. That line item in the budget was cut to a few thousand dollars under former Gov. Ted Strickland and is zero under Gov. John Kasich’s proposed budget.
“We passed a levy in 2010,” Osler said. “You are trying to advance yourself, but with all the state cuts we’ve just been able to stay even.”

He said money that must go into buses is diverted from teaching kids.

“It does hurt education,” he said. “I would love to have that extra [money] that you have to put into a bus to be put into computers.”
This school bus thing is another of a long list in the way the politicos from the Columbus beltway (Republican Governor Kasich and the Ohio General Assembly [including locals Scott Oelslager [R - Plain], Kirk Schuring [R - Jackson], Christina Hagan [R - Marlboro] and Stephen Slesnick [D - Canton]) are putting the screws to Ohio's local governments and, of course, to the taxpaying public.

One bus (of 1987 vintage) is actually older than the number of years Oelslager has been in the Ohio General Assembly (1988).


Kasich et al are engaged in a shell game in which they are raising taxes on nearly all Ohioans in the form of taking money previously being sent to localities and applying it to state programs and thereby forcing Stark Countians and indeed most Ohioans to raise local taxes.

Going up at the local level are sales taxes (for county safety forces), property taxes (for schools, roads, bridges, EMS and the like)  and income taxes (for city and village services) because Ohio over the last ten years have dropped local government funding from about 19 million to 8.5 million.

And the 11.5 million drop in state funding does not include the end of the Ohio Estate Tax local government revenues which most localities did not factor into their annual budgets but which helped tremendously to cope with unplanned expenses and/or capital projects.

Who benefited from the termination of the estate tax?

Ohio's very wealthiest!

In one way or another, everyday Ohioans will have their taxes raised at the school district, city, village, and township level so that the rich can pass on their fortunes to their heirs tax free.


Whether its:
  • the continued viability Canton-Stark County Crime Lab,
  • having adequate numbers of police on the streets of Canton,
  • getting Massillon potholes patched,
  • timely fire department dispatch,
  • Jackson Township parks being open extended hours and kept up to standard,
  • township roads being maintained,
  • the Zimber Ditch being kept clear so as to cut down on flooding of Stark County homes and businesses,
the critical difference maker in nearly every instance is the ripping away of State of Ohio local government funding.

It seems to the SCPR that the area's two main media do a horrible job of connecting the dots.

Connecting the dots?


Both newspapers' editorial boards are wont to decry the severe drop off of State of Ohio funding of local government.

But they consistently fail to tie the cuts to particular Columbus ensconced politicos.

Not so with the Stark County Political Report.

Yours truly does name names.

And in Stark County they are Scott Oelslager (25 years in the Legislature), Kirk Schuring (18 years), along with the relatively new Christina Hagan and Stephen Slesnick.

Isn't it about time that Stark Countians start getting in the face of these folks?

Better yet, sending them packing come the 2014 elections?

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