Saturday, January 14, 2017

Money for school agreement is so far a no-show


State funding for Columbia’s shared services agreement with ELANCO has apparently fallen through. Dr. Robert Hollister, superintendent of Columbia Borough School District, made the announcement at January’s Committee of the Whole meeting. The statement was in response to Board Director Kathleen Hohenadel’s question regarding the status of the grant. The anticipated funding is for an amount up to $250,000 for up to three years to pilot the program and was to have come from the PA Department of Education.

Hollister said he has not gotten a response from Senator Ryan Aument’s office, despite several inquiries. ”I’ve not heard a thing. That’s not good news,” he said.

Hollister asked residents to contact legislators, but was not overly optimistic. “Phone calls always help, but the other side of that story is this state is in dire financial consequences. I’m operating as if that money is not going to show up,” he said.

The grant was previously discussed by former Superintendent Ken Klawitter at Columbia’s August 2016 Committee of the Whole meeting. Klawitter said the bill authorizing the grant was the first of its kind in Pennsylvania. “They wrote it specifically for us, because we were the first ones legally to do this,” he said. He added that he had received an autographed copy of the bill and a signature pen indicating funding would be made available to pilot the program.

36 comments:

  1. Columbia residents bamboozled again, all for the sake of getting a resident a high paying job that he was never qualified to do in the first place. Shame on you School Board members who voted for this. Rescind it now!!!

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    1. "Hollister said he has not gotten a response from Senator Ryan Aument’s office, despite several inquiries. 'I’ve not heard a thing. That’s not good news,' he said."

      Not heard a thing. Yet he continues to collect his paycheck off of our backs.

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    2. The person who got this job is NOT QUALIFIED OR CERTIFIED and the position that he currently, temporarily holds has not been approved by PDE.

      Unethical behavior created this position!

      A total farce and another embarrassment for the town that we love.

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    3. To the Board members who placed one person's job over your sworn duties as directors of education.....you are being used and each one of you is an accomplice in this sickening, unethical fiasco.

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  2. We are really in a big mess what next time to merge we can't afford anymore taxes we are taxed out the school board must do something or maybe we need new people on the board people who care about the kids and the tax payers

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  3. Rescind and Regionalize!

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  4. perhaps one of our esteemed coffee councilmen should call his good buddy senator in york county to release the money. He apparently called before to use his pull to block it

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    1. This money should never, ever be released because our tax dollars should not reward the despicable, conniving , underhanded , unethical behaviors that created this grant request.

      These people should be arrested!!!

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  5. Just send all the kids to Hempfield. Because columbia school sucks.

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    1. Columbia schools rock!!!

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    2. There are a lot of great kids, teachers, staff members, and parents in the Columbia Borough School District. Let's work together and focus on the positive as opposed to partaking in self-defeating behavior. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.". Let's show more love to our students, teachers, parents, and community!

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  6. THIS IS GOOD NEWS!!! NOW THE END COULD BE NEAR FOR THE ELANCO AGREEMENT AND FOR THE QUESTIONABLE DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS, (WHO RECENTLY,POSSIBLY, ENDANGERED OUR CHILDREN IN AN ICE SITUATION BY NOT CALLING A DELAY) AND WHO GAINED HIS POSITION IN A MORE THAN QUESTIONABLE MANNER.

    THE ETHICAL MEMBERS OUR SCHOOL BOARD CAN REGAIN CONTROL AND STOP THE UNETHICAL TRAIN THAT CREATED THE ELANCO AND THE DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS POSITION.

    THERE ARE SOME GREAT NAMES BEING FLOATED TO RUN FOR SCHOOL BOARD WHO DESPISE THE UNETHICAL BEHAVIOR OF CERTAIN CURRENT MEMBERS , AND WHO ARE CURRENTLY ORGANIZING, TO DISPLACE THEM.

    THE GOOD SENATOR FROM YORK COUNTY IS AN ETHICAL MAN AND A PERSON OF INTEGRITY!

    MORE TO FOLLOW!!!

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    1. I spoke with him at length in the fall, but I was not aware that he is a senator. He seemed dedicated to his position and was easy to talk with.

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  7. There is no way that the all people of Pa.,who pay for grant money, through taxation, should be paying for the ridiculous position of doo doo ,commonly referred to as director of operations here in our town.

    Hope this person enjoys sending out that possibly, questionable resume' again and again.


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  8. We have to get more residents to attend the school board meetings! I will admit I've never attended one since moving to Columbia 16 years ago but with three children in the District I have to do something. The unethical behaviour I've seen happen since moving here is appalling. Hiring unqualified individuals to posh high salary positions, rumors of mergers that never come to fruition, appointment of an athletic director who is also a head coach (conflict of interest), micromanagement of school boosters by school district bureaucrats, exodus of high school faculty after the hiring of a certain principle, students appointed to the National Honor Society who do NOT represent the standards upheld by this organization, a superintendent hired that leaves shortly after her stint began, poor standardized test performance and a passionate faculty who are struggling to educate our children who give up and leave for greener pastures. Long standing members on the School Board need to go, they have failed the District, the residents, the Borough of Columbia BUT most importantly our children. And before we fall back into our old isolationist ways look at the advantages a merger could have for the sake of our children because Columbia School District has proven it can't do it alone anymore.

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    1. If the taxes were not escrowed into mortgages and residents received a separate monthly tax bill, they would be at the meetings demanding to know what the money is being used for. Taxes are hidden in mortgage payments and people just pay the bill without giving much thought to the tax portion. If residents were placing $300-400 in cash every month on the counter at the district office you can bet they would want to know what that money is being used for. I would not be handing anyone that much a month without questioning spending.

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    2. Great comment! Make our money talk since the board refuses to respond to our voices!

      We all have the power to instruct the banks to withhold the tax payments from escrow until the last possible day, even better if we all would suck it up and pay at the end penalty period just one year. These delayed payments would be an attention grabber.

      This is our town...these are our schools...these are our children ...we must be active...they count on our silence....Crowd every meeting until this nonsense with Elanco and the director of operations is removed permanently.

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    3. I totally agree with holding tax dollars. It is the only way to get attention. It cannot work with one person, has to be a team effort and Columbians can be a team. Government shut down!!

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  9. The state needs to be called in to do something with this mess the sooner the better before it is to late for are kids

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  10. Everything about the Elanco agreement was contrived by one person in order to get a job. Over a period of at least 4 years this same person attempted to gain this position at least twice, manipulated school board members, handpicked replacement members, and convinced others to follow this path.

    This constitutes unethical behavior and a true conflict of interest, which is a crime.

    The children of Columbia are suffering from this persons' false sense of self worth. Teachers are leaving because of this person and this persons' poor judgement.

    This whole process of one person creating a self serving position is reprehensible and Columbia schools are fast becoming the laughing stock of county educators because of this self serving person.

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  11. Wasn't state representative Hickernill, who supposed to represent Columbia, just appointed to an education committee for the state? Maybe the residents of Columbia should crowd his office on locusts St. and voice your concerns. Going to the school board sure ain't working.

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    1. Hinkernell and Aument need to be informed again and again and again about about this fiasco in our town that was cleverly disguised as an opportunity for our school to improve but was really a cleverly planned opportunity for one unqualified person to secure a job at our expense.

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    2. Sounds like a great idea.

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    3. ss71monte you are correct, Hickernell will chair the House Education Committee. Time to flood his office with residents wanting action.

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  12. The interest in reforming the Concerned Citizens group is growing rapidly , with legal representation, to present the concerns of our town in a formal way that the board cannot ignore.

    All concerned citizens will have a voice and this corruption will be addressed.

    The list of names of people of integrity, who are considering running for school board, is growing.

    More to follow.

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    1. I want to be part of the concerned citizen group, please make the meeting dates, for such a group, public so all can attend.

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  13. If you don't like the school board decisions, do something to change it , take action. Go to the meetings, you do not have to speak, just attend. Stop complaining and do something. Action brings results. Stop thinking that there is nothing that we can do.

    Support the few board members who have integrity. They need our help!

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  14. It is time to clean house. The director of operations should be relieved of duties immediately. Position can not be funded, Hollister should be it on noticed his job is in jeopardy due to funding,Gather the teachers together and let them air their displeasures with the current happenings.Set up a robocall to local state officials,(they do it to us). Support candidates to be wise spenders and care about quality education. It would have been wise to have money approved, and not go on promise.

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  15. Thankful for the Spy to report this. l know the LNP correspondent hands the stories in to them, but they(LNP) print it when they want.

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    1. So far, LNP has missed this story completely.

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    2. The Spy, thanks to you Cole, is our only true news and comment opportunity.

      LNP has no trouble reporting about a pickup truck with a Confederate flag ,but they refuse to report on this important corruption issue that effects all taxpayers.

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    3. When they changed the paper, they said more local news would be reported. Sports coverage has slipped. How soon before all electronic reading?

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    4. LNP has 60 municipalities to cover. How can local news be presented on a daily basis when they have such a large area to cover? The paper would weigh a ton and cost a fortune to print if LNP covered every single thing happening in every community. This is why it's important to have local news sources like The Columbia Spy and Columbia News and Views.

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    5. They did a better job under p
      Old format,plus now more advertising.

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    6. It is a shame that the Spy and Review can not have a paper edition so more people would know what is going on in town.

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  16. It is truly a shame!

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