STEPS 2003 School Board Candidate Survey

Dear School Board Candidate,

This election I will again be posting school board candidate responses to questions. The questions for this election focus on school funding and awareness of the legal obligations to which each successful candidate will swear an oath of office.

Because Mr. Sears and Ms. Collier complained that questions similar to 7 and 8 were biased against Ms Eisnaugle, I used materials from www.imanet.org to deliberately bias question 6 toward CMAs. Similarly, question 5 uses Sarbanes-Oxley language, presumably an advantage to both accountants. I hope this balances any perceived bias in the questions, but please promptly raise any concerns you may have about these questions. If I can not address your concerns, I will seek advice from experts in appropriate fields.

Please advise me of your intention to reply and anticipated reply date.

Thank you for your cooperation,

Eric Price

1) Will your first strategic priority be to ensure that Beavercreek students have the opportunity to benefit from a "thorough and efficient system" of public schools? How?
Cheryl Shedden
I will continue to focus on what is best for our entire student population. This includes a quality curriculum. We need to review and improve upon our subject areas when necessary. Also, we must abide by the standards set by the ODE. I also feel it is essential to provide both athletics and extra-curriculars. I believe the nominal costs are well worth the price to ensure our students a well-rounded education and their placement at the college of their choice. Colleges and universities want students that not only have an academic background but are multi-faceted. We must always ask the cost of programs and since I have been on the board we have been doing just that.
Michael Verlingo
Beavercreek Schools are efficient. By most every financial and operational measure, Beavercreek outperforms surrounding and comparable districts. State data ranks Beavercreek 216th out of 613 districts in spending: below state average. Versus our comparable group, we rank 15th of 20 in per pupil spending, $260 above the bottom, $1,400 from the top. Per pupil spending is $800 below average or $5.6M less. Administrative, extracurricular, and transportation costs are lower. Beavercreek employs 71 fewer teachers and administrators. The district has the 7th highest student teacher ratio (of 53) in the Miami valley. ...more...
Debra Eisnaugle
no response

2)

Explain a school board member's obligation to secure funding for their school district.
Cheryl Shedden
We must actively seek funding from both the state and fed. govt. by speaking to our legislators on a regular basis. Also, we must apply ftor grant monies that can provide better programs for our students and staff.
Michael Verlingo
School Board members are required by oath to promote education and educational opportunity. They are chartered to be spokesmen and spokeswomen for the students. They must at all times act in the best interest of the children. Toward this end, they must help the community understand the benefits and costs associated with this mission. ...more...
Debra Eisnaugle
no response

3)

What is your plan to address the following funding obligations, which the state funding formula places disproportionately upon Beavercreek taxpayers:
  • Increases in district employees' salaries, wages, and benefits
  • Increases in liability insurance and energy costs
  • Increases in student enrollment
  • Increases in special ed (IDEA) costs
  • Unfunded Federal share of IDEA
  • Costs of compliance with DeRolph mandates ("thorough and efficient")
  • Costs of compliance with ESEA ("No Child Left Behind")
  • Costs of compliance with "value-added assessment" (HB-3)
Cheryl Shedden
All these areas must be addressed through research for the best options to provide our staff with legitimate increases while maintaining the costs involved . We must also carry on a constant dialogue with the state and fed. people to address IDEA implementation. They mandate it but do not provide adequate funding to truly implement it.
Michael Verlingo
By law, the school district must comply with all state and federal mandates. Unless we can lobby our legislators to change current law, we will continue to bear a higher burden of cost by local taxpayers. We must provide education to every eligible child within Beavercreek's borders regardless of cost or capacity. ...more...
Debra Eisnaugle
no response

4)

What are your specific goals for the district, and their priority?
Cheryl Shedden
Editor's note: The candidate replied to the first version of this survey, which through my fault listed question 4 as item 3i. However, she did address this question in her answer to question 1.
Michael Verlingo
If elected, I intend to provide the community with the following. Increased communication about the school district and its financial condition, a concise 2-page summary of metrics that will clearly reflect areas of spending compared to other districts, and a focus on maintaining a challenging curriculum and the programs that allow our students to compete. This definitely includes extra-curricular activities. More than 800 students at the high school alone utilize sports, clubs, and band today. Removing these would severely handicap our students when competing against others for scholarships, awards and admission to universities. ...more...
Debra Eisnaugle
no response

5)

School funding has become a contentious issue in our community. Discuss whether "public communications" on this issue have been "full, fair, accurate, timely, and understandable." Give examples.
Cheryl Shedden
I don't know how else we can communicate with the public. We have tried and continue to try a variety of formats i.e. public forums, district mailings, district website, and a very approacable superintendent, treasurer, and board. We try and get the message out.
Michael Verlingo
School finance is a unique animal. Revenues and some cost items differ from for profit enterprises, therefore they can be extremely confusing. Due to this fact, many have attempted to confuse the issue. Misinformation, half-truths and miscalculations have been used in numerous articles to imply that the district is mismanaging funds or does not need a levy to operate. ...more...
Debra Eisnaugle
no response

6)

Are community divisions exacerbated by "deterrents to effective communication, including semantics, noise, the grapevine, inadequate listening skills," informal channels of communication, or ineffective communication liaison roles?
Cheryl Shedden
The misinformation and innuendoes being presented by those opposed to the levy does hinder the district's message getting out to the public. We have changed the way we do business and that should be stressed loudly and clearly.
Michael Verlingo
Certainly. The community needs to focus on the facts, not be influenced by a small group of individuals that are (in my opinion) myopic, misguided and illogical. I beseech all citizens to ask questions. This administration is receptive to inquiry and fostering a dialogue that effects positive change. Citizens should not take comments like: "Spending is out of control" at face value. Investigate. Contact the Financial Oversight Committee. ...more...
Debra Eisnaugle
no response

7)

Describe the quality and quantity of your service to our community. How do you stay "in touch" with the climate of Beavercreek schools?
Cheryl Shedden
I have been an active member of both the school and community since moving here 11 yrs. ago. I am a member of St. Andrew UMC where I serve on the Adminstrative Board and play with our church bell choir. I am a member of the Beavercreek Women's League. I volunteer my services as an Ohio Reads tutor at Parkwood and also volunteer there each week as I have been doing for 11 years. I try very hard to attend sporting events and music events and other prgrams that the elementary schools and middle schools are participating in. I don't make it to everything but I do try.
Michael Verlingo
Despite my work and family commitments, I have always prioritized community service as a critical component of my life. My volunteer activities within the Beavercreek School system have included the Audit Review Committee, Levy committees, creation of a chess club at Fairbrook elementary where I donated chess sets, and delivery of an all day International trade and economics lecture at Ankeney middle school. You will see me at football games, basketball games, tennis matches, etc. ...more...
Debra Eisnaugle
no response

8)

How does your personal and/or professional code of ethics affect your civic and volunteer activities as well as your position on school levies?
Cheryl Shedden
I ran for this position four years ago because I feel strongly that Beavercreek City Schools provides an outstanding educational program. I feel as a parent who has had children who have or are benefitting from the district, it was the best way I could pay them back. I want to continue to give the next group of young children who attend our schools the best options for their futures.
Michael Verlingo
I adhere to the highest standards of integrity. My Certified Public Accountant's license requires that I do so. I apply this same code to every activity in which I engage. Therefore I will honestly and faithfully execute the duties of my office to the best of my ability. I will critically examine revenues, costs, contracts, and the need for any levies placed on a ballot. I do not support unlimited spending. ...more...
Debra Eisnaugle
no response