NTF SPEECH TO OPS SCHOOL BOARD ON EXTENDING SUPERINTENDENT CONTRACT, JULY 14, 2022

NTF worksheet: ops116.doc. 7-22.
NTF SPEECH TO OPS SCHOOL BOARD ON EXTENDING SUPERINTENDENT CONTRACT, JULY 14, 2022.

Good evening. Doug Kagan, 416 South 130 Street, representing NE Taxpayers for Freedom. Our taxpaying members have asked me to urge this board to not extend the superintendent’s contract for several reasons:

The OPS pension system is still in financial disarray. A state audit in June, 2022 found numerous material weaknesses and significant deficiencies, the pension liability still increasing. The district obligated itself to hire an outside consulting firm to provide technical assistance in addressing accounting problems following a 2020 audit. Thousands of taxpayer dollars spent to address these issues and identify and implement solutions.

Over $22 million spent to implement an academy and pathways program never adequately explained or presented to the school board or parents. These mandatory programs do not equate with similar voluntary programs commonly implemented in other area districts or in other states.

Statistical evidence from the state Dept. of Education shows OPS attendance and graduation rates low but the dropout rate high, in comparison with other districts. Low ACT scores. Lower numbers of college-bound students. The district classified as “Needing Improvement.”

OPS taxpayers, who pay about 55%-60% of their local property taxes to OPS, are not getting their tax dollars’ worth. This explains why thousands of OPS parents are optioning out their children to neighboring school districts.

Thousands spent on Critical Race Theory equity and diversity programs, a theory heavily-criticized.

District mismanagement is apparent. A tidal wave of teachers abandoning the district. Teacher transfers with short or no advance notice. Lack of discipline among students. Chaos in the classrooms that inhibit learning.
OPS is an educational institution teetering on a precipice, on the verge of falling into disaster.

President Truman said “The Buck Stops Here.” The OPS superintendent is responsible for advocating how and where our taxpayer bucks spent. The current superintendent in this respect, in our opinion, is not serving teachers, parents, students, or taxpayers in a manner that warrants her continued service here.
Thank you.

1. Action Item(s)
I.1.a. Approval of the Contract and Superintendent Pay Transparency Notice for Dr. Cheryl Logan to Serve as Superintendent for the 2022-2025 School Years
Rationale: In keeping with the requirements of Nebraska Revised Statute sections 79-817 to 79-822 as well as Nebraska Revised Statute sections 79-2401 to 79-2405 (Superintendent Pay Transparency Act), Board Officers recommend approval of the attached contract with Dr. Cheryl Logan to serve as Superintendent for the 2022-2025 school years. Board Officers further recommend approval of the attached Superintendent Pay Transparency Notice. The new contract includes the following changes from the previous agreement:
A one-year extension of the current agreement through June 30, 2025. Salary increase from $313,890 to $329,113.67 (4.85% increase, which is the same percentage as teachers’ total package for the 2022-2023 school year);
Permits Dr. Logan to take up to 10 days of paid Consulting Leave; Consulting Leave is separate and distinct from vacation and, as such, does not carry over from year to year and has no cash value upon separation from employment. Dr. Logan has agreed to donate the proceeds of any such consulting work to the Omaha Public Schools Foundation. Provides for reimbursement of up to $141 per month for Dr. Logan to purchase additional term life insurance through the District’s voluntary life plan.

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN TAXPAYING CITIZENS SIT HOME & LIBERALS ELECTED

The OPS School District agenda action item listed an upcoming vote on extending the contract for Supt. Cheryl Logan and increasing her salary and benefits. On page 1, you have read why our NE Taxpayers for Freedom group lobbied the OPS board members to vote NO. Besides NTF commenting during Public Comment Time, a long line of teachers complained about lack of respect, low pay, poor communication from the administration, and abrupt teacher school re-assignment procedures. Complaints about not being treated as professionals. They complained about the Pathways program replacing educational programs fastidiously developed by themselves over the years.

NTF members listened as one teacher, a former police officer who gained teaching credentials, so that he could keep kids off the streets, spoke how he had taught high school classes at Northwest HS for years with no complaints. The district suddenly transferred him to Burke HS with no prior notice. They transferred him, because he has a pilot’s license and could assist in the Burke aeronautics instruction program. He then made arrangements to earn additional flying credentials, so that he could instruct his students better. Outrageously, he then learned from a fellow teacher, not the personnel department, that the administration had transferred him again to South High School, where they have no aeronautics program. This outrage is only one example why hundreds of professional teachers are abandoning OPS.

During the board contract discussion, board member Marque Snow called NTF comments “inappropriate.” Supt. Logan declared that her critics “don’t know me.”

Notwithstanding the torrent of complaints at this meeting, a majority of OPS board members praised the performance of Supt. Logan and voted to extend her contract and give her additional salary and benefits.
If Logan served as the chief financial officer of a private corporation, the corporate board would have summarily fired her.

Voting YES, against taxpayers: Tracy Casady, Jane Erdenberger, Shavonna Holman, Margo Juarez, and Marque Snow.
Voting NO, with taxpayers: Nancy Kratky.
Board members Spencer Head, Nick Thielen, and Ricky Smith were absent.

Tracy Casady, Margo Juarez, and Marque Snow face re-election in November. Jane Erdenberger and Shavonna Holman are up for re-election in 2024. Campaign to vote them out.

OPS residents pay from 55%-60% of their property taxes to OPS. This fact and the accelerating failure of this school district to educate our children and teens properly is why not dozens but hundreds of taxpayers and parents should attend OPS board meetings regularly and give that board constant withering criticism, then find and volunteer for fiscally conservative candidates.

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