“Our district desperately needs this revenue in order to provide schools with the resources they need to help every student succeed, allow for expanded learning opportunities for struggling students, sustain our district’s ability to attract and keep quality educators, and ensure that our learners have access to the modern technology necessary for 21-st century learning.” - Brent McKim, President, Jefferson County Teachers Association, attempting to justify seventh property tax increase in seven years (The Crapola-Journal, August 20, 2014)
This beautiful, wooded 4.16 acre estate is located at 721 Watch Hill Lane in Cincinnati, Ohio. Zillow describes the property as a six-bedroom, five-bathroom home with a pool. According to Hamilton County property records, the owners of this home are John R. Green, Jr. and his wife Mary Green.
Let’s talk about the Greens, their Covington, Kentucky-based school supply business and JCPS providing “schools with the resources they need to help every student succeed,” as Mr. McKim spelled out in today’s Crapola-Journal.
Okay. So, we have this press release from JCPS that says parents are responsible for purchasing only paper, pencils and folders but they’re off the hook for things like Ziploc bags, paper towels and anti-bacterial wipes which always appear on Classroom Supplies Wish List. Teachers have not just been strongly discouraged from sending wish lists to parents, they’ve been forbidden from doing so. I’ve talked to too many teachers who’ve been directed to John R. Green and School Specialty for their classroom supplies. And I’ve talked to a couple of teacher who are furious that they can’t ask parents for supplies. Some families LIKE donating supplies so what’s really going on?
This newest JCPS scheme promotes increased equity which is just bizarre. Too bad JCPS can’t dream bigger than that. Equitable distribution of teacher experience in our schools will promote increased equity. Paper towels and baby wipes? Not so much.
School Specialty is located in Ohio, so buying local isn’t important to JCPS. In fact, many of the vendors on the approved vendors list are located out-of-state. Just buy this stuff from Walmart already.
Here’s some information about the John R. Green Company from the Kentucky Secretary of State:
And here is the paperwork for the dissolution of John R. Green Company, Inc. which was swiftly followed up with the creation of John R. Green Company, LLC. Hello, tax advantages – and good job, Junior!
John R. Green has a special place in JCPS’s accounts payable department which means they receive a lot of orders.
Here’s what appears on JCPS’s 2013-14 vendor list for John R. Green. Does this include purchases made by the schools with their credit cards? I have no idea, you tell me.
This is from JCPS’s 2012-13 vendor list for John R. Green:
In one year, John R. Green saw payments increase by about $117,000 or 26%.
In three years, JCPS has seen enrollment increase by 2000 students to 102,367. That’s just a two-percent increase over three years or approximately 0.7% each year.
If enrollment increased by about 1%, shouldn’t payments increase by around 1%, too? Okay, maybe increase payments by 5% because JCPS is so lousy at controlling costs. But +0.7% enrollment and +26% Green payments translates into a 1:37 ratio. Please, explain.
Some good news. A 25% discount for JCPS:
Good news, bad news: Fayette County schools also receive a 25% discount which means JCPS isn’t the only sucker buying overpriced school supplies.
Let’s do a price comparison on a product that JCPS will now purchase to “help students succeed”. One container of 75 wipes is about $3.33 at Walmart.
At John R. Green, one container of 75 wipes is $6.88. Discounted, it’s $5.16 or $1.83 more than Walmart. That’s 55% higher.
WHY IS JCPS PAYING A PREMIUM FOR ANYTHING? It’s because wasting money is what they do best.
This company is on an approved list for almost every school district in Kentucky which means plenty of school districts in Kentucky can guarantee overpaying for classroom supplies. Art supplies like crayons, markers and colored pencils at John R. Green are competitively priced – but JCPS isn’t providing those low-margin products to the students.
The students. Let’s not forget about the JCPS students.
Most of them are poor. Many of them are graduating with math and reading skills that are far below grade level. We have eighteen-year-old kids graduating with the math skills of a fifth-grader, if they’re lucky. Heck, many black males aren’t even graduating.
This information is from JCPS’s 2011 FACT Book, the most recent edition available:
The numbers are much worse now. Almost 70% of JCPS students receive free or reduced-fee lunch up from about 65%; about 12% of JCPS students are homeless, up from 10%. That means JCPS students and their families are in worse shape now than three years ago even though JCPS employees and contractors are more prosperous than ever by tapping into a budget that exceeds $1.3 BILLION. Visit the Crapola-Journal’s salary database for JCPS and you have to scroll through 370 employees and 37 pages of $100,000+ salaries before you hit a five-digit salary.
On August 25th, the Jefferson County Board of Education is going to raise your taxes for the seventh time in seven years but the money isn’t going to help low-income, low-performing students. It hasn’t up until now, why should anything change? Maybe the multi-million dollar tax increase will help people like the Greens add another shiny Range Rover to their stable of luxury cars or guarantee vulture capitalist and school board member David Jones, Jr., a nice contract for some of the second-hand health care software/education technology junk that he’s been aggressively hustling.
Over a billion dollars is supposed to be spent on EDUCATION for Louisville’s children, most of them extraordinarily poor. That’s $1,300,000,000!! Instead, hundreds of millions of dollars will end up in the bank accounts of prosperous people who really couldn’t care less about poor kids or education. I don’t have a problem with profits or purchases or school supplies or school supply companies. What is so infuriating is that so much prosperity for so few is a result of JCPS’s financial dysfunction. JCPS pays too much for what they buy, they buy too much that they doesn’t need, they hire too many administrators and the salaries are too high. It’s astonishing, really. JCPS excels at waste and apathy which means our public education dollars are nothing more than an easy source of income to a bunch bloodsucking creeps.
But you know that already.