Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Yesterday, yours truly was driving home from covering the Stark County commissioners regular work session (Mondays at 10:00 AM) and per chance tuned in to WHBC's Ron Ponder of Points to Ponder (1480AM on your radio dial).

And lo and behold!  Who should Ron's guest be but Jackson Township Republican J. Kirk Schuring (Ohio House - 50th) explaining his vote - yes - for passage of Senate Bill 5 which is deemed by unionized public employees (police, fire, teachers et cetera) as being hostile to and damaging of their rights to collectively bargain.

If memory serves correctly, Ron recited an email he received which got to that part of SB 5 which sets out criteria within the bill by which teachers (being public employees) have the possibility of merit pay increases (a favorite theme of Republicans).  The email focused on a situation which by the terms of SB 5 will - if implemented - prohibits teachers from bargaining on such things as classroom size.

The point of the email - as The Report recalls (and paraphrasing):  "since teachers will no longer be able to negotiate their classroom sizes; wouldn't it be unfair to the chances of teachers saddled with school administration-imposed classroom sizes of, let's say, anywhere from 30 to 40 to 50 students to get merit increases?"

The SCPR understands the concept of effectively teachable classroom sizes and commonly negotiated maximums now to be somewhere around 25 for middle and secondary schools and 15 for elementary schools.

The gist of Schuring's answer:   "Ohio via prior legislative action requires that school building administration and district administration be graded on administration performance on an annual basis.  If classroom sizes get to the level referred to by the e-mailer's point, then such would be reflected in the annual report card."


The Report's question.  Where in Schuring's response does he address the unfairness issue?

Schuring's answer is to be likened to "two ships passing in the night," obviously not seeing each other.

But such is what politicians do.

His answer sounds like an answer, but it isn't.  Yours truly has known Schuring for many years.  And his answer on Ponder's show is rather typical of him.

And as if his non-answer on the classroom size was not enough of an insult to the e-mailer and Ponder's listening audience, Schuring went on to cite a number of awards he has gotten over the years from the likes of the FOP (Fraternal Order of Police), a federation of teachers organization, and the like which was another "dissembling-esque" (i.e. to give a false or misleading appearance to) response.

What listeners were to conclude from the fact that Schuring has gotten awards from public unions is that in voting for Senate Bill 5 he should - by virtue of his prior good deeds - be assumed to have voted in the best interest of public unions on SB 5.


On a personal level Representative Schuring is a nice guy.  But as a public official he is highly insulting to anyone who can think through his politically inspired specious speech!

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