HellenicLad 
Member since Nov 29, 2011


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Re: “School’s Out?

Actually, OTP, you have it backwards. The situation as it currently exists is exactly what the MCS tried to avoid by surrendering.

It all started with Pickler seeking SSD status for SCS to freeze the boundaries. The fear was that he would get taxing authority and the SCC would freeze funding, forcing Memphis to pick up the slack for MCS. The taxing authority wasn't going to happen, as the Memphis majority on the SCC would never go for it, but that was the fear tactic Jones and Hart used to force the surrender.

Look at what we have now. Most of the legacy SCS is now ensconced in MSDs, and they have defacto taxing authority through their municipal boards. SCC is reluctant to increase SCS funding because some of it will go to the muni systems.

The future is pretty predictable. There are three possible outcomes.

1) SCC does not increase taxes and funding for schools. With insufficient budgets, reduced through inflation, SCS will have to cut programs. No more IB. No more WSHS optional programs. Just what you talk about all the time - a basic education for everyone.

2) SCS applies for SSD status with taxing authority. I expect that would be OK with the SCC because they would be able to say "Hey, we're not raising taxes. It's that SCS board that raised your taxes." The net result is that instead of Memphis being on the hook to fund what the SCC didn't, it would be Memphis and unincorporated Shelby County funding it. In the mean time, the people in the municipalities, who have always been willing to pay for educational excellence, will have what they want.

3) SCC mans up and funds the schools (all of them) as needed. That will be pretty close to a wash for the muni citizens - pay it to the county and get most of it back for the schools, or pay it to the muni and get all of it sent to the schools. Once again, Memphis will be on the hook, via county taxes, for MCS v2.0, aka SCS.

6 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by HellenicLad on 02/07/2014 at 9:44 AM

Re: “Cardinals-Redbirds: Deal or No Deal?

OTP: "Like it has been said, numbers don't lie, but, lyers know how to use numbers."

And you have consistantly ignored all of the annexations that took place between 2000 and 2010. Memphis annexed over 30,000 people in that time, and still lost over 3000 in population, for a net loss of >33,000. Any "re-urbanisation" from 2010-2013 is not even 10% of that loss.

Posted by HellenicLad on 11/19/2013 at 8:13 AM

Re: “The Shutdown

OTP: "CE, you nor I will pay for Betty's health insurance or for her kids too under Obamacare. It is just like my Railroad Retirement Pension, it is self funded. It is paid by the fines on business that don't have health insurance for their employees, taxes from medical devices, givebacks from big pharma (drug companies) and that dreaded individual mandate."

You really think fines on businesses that don't provide health care and taxes on device makers will be enough to provide health insurance for "40 million uninsured Americans"? You're dreaming.

As far as give backs from big pharma and all those healthy young people now paying insurance premiums that exceed their use of the health care system, those are designed to reduce the average cost of care per person, thus reducing premiums across the board. That means we all pay less, but that doesn't translate into money flowing into federal coffers to pay Betty's health insurance. Since that health insurance is operated by private companies like Cigna and BCBS, it means Betty's premiums are either payed directly from the US Treasury to the insurer, or Betty is given money she did not pay in to the treasury to pay the premiums herself.

Each year, between the Navy and my own contribution, Cigna is paid $14,405 in premiums for my insurance. Assume that the provisions discussed above reduce premiums by 20%. That's $11,524 per policy per year. We were told during the debata over ACA that there were 40 million uninsured Americans. Assume that half of them will need to get insurance, and half will be covered as minors by a parent's policy. People who don't have health insurance are largely in that position because they can't afford it. Figure the federal coffers will have to pick up 50% of the cost of the premiums and you get a price tag of $115 BILLION per year.

This is what I have always disliked about ACA. It has a huge pricetag that has been disguised by the smoke an mirrors of the Washingtom budget process.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by HellenicLad on 10/04/2013 at 1:14 PM

Re: “The Shutdown

AP, the FEHB is really no different than the exchanges. It is what all federal employees get. I work for the Navy in Millington. When I started (and every year at open enrollment) I was given the descriptions, benefits, and costs of several dozen different plans.

I chose the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) plan. I had to pay a one-time fee of $35 to become an adjunct member of the APWU, and the Navy covers about three fourths of the premium for the insurance. The program is administered by Cigna, and is really no different than anything a typical medium to large company offers. It is a benefit most employers use to attract and retain good workers.

Congress used to use the same system. Now they have to use the exchanges, but the benefit that pays the majority of the health care insurance premium to the carrier remains the same. Note that this is not the tax rebate that will help the poor pay for the insurance, it is a direct payment from their employer to the insurance carrier - in my case Cigna.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by HellenicLad on 10/04/2013 at 10:57 AM

Re: “Gerrymandering: How the GOP Keeps Control of Congress

Your complaint about district lines being drawn to favor the R has many flaws. It is pointless to talk about raw numbers. The fact that the 9th district in TN voted 90% for Cohen (D) has no impact on the 7th district voting 60% for Blackburn (R). Extrapolating that down to state senate and house races is even more flawed.

As far as where the lines are drawn, I heard no complaints in the 80's when the lines were drawn by the controlling D party in TN. Remember when the 8th district had enough of Frasier and Raliegh to be solidly D? The party in power at census time in a state draws the lines.

"We won; you lost. Get over it." - Barack Obama

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by HellenicLad on 10/04/2013 at 8:37 AM

Re: “Back to Square One

OTP: "A county in Tennessee has no choice but to take any and all children that reside within its boundaries."

Not true. A county is only obligated to educate those children who do not have other access to public education. If all of the children in a county are covered by municipal and or special school districts the county has no obligation. Such a county does not even need a Board of Ed, and if it elected one said Board would be completely powerless.

But that is neither here nor there. There are 26 municipal or special districts in TN. In every single case, including the former MCS, when the district formed they immediately took control of the existing schools within the districts geographical area. Every. Single. Time.

Remember, we are not operating under a new set of laws concerning the formation of municipal schools. The laws, rules and regulations are exactly as they were prior to 1998. They are the same laws and rules under which all the other SSD's and MSD's were formed. On the day a MSD began operation it took control of all of the schools within its boundaries.

I imagine that when MCS was formed all those years ago, there were some students outside Memphis attending schools inside Memphis and vice versa. At that time one of two things must have happened. Either attendance zones were redrawn, or a cooperative agreement about which children would go to which school was reached. What didn't happen was for SCS to say "20% of students attending school X live outside of Memphis, so you can't have school X."

Some time in around April or May of 2014 Commisioner Huffman will authorize the six municipal schools to begin operations on July 1, 2014. Before that time either SCS will redraw attendance districts to reassign students outside munis who attend muni schools, or (more likely) the munis and SCS will come to an agreement on who will go where.

By court decision (Lenox) and precedent, the buildings follow the students. The County BOE is not controlling or supreme here. The state Commissioner of Education is. All schools in Shelby County are held in trust for the students that use them. Who controls them and operates the school district the children attend is largely up to the Education Commissioner.

10 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by HellenicLad on 08/09/2013 at 1:27 PM

Re: “Back to Square One

OTP, you are approaching this whole thing from the wrong perspective. You are looking at it as if municipal schools were a new thing. They are not.

The legislature did not create a new "municipal school law" out of a vacuum. The ability for a muni to create its own school system has existed for over a century in TN. In 1998 the legislature passed a law banning the formation of new muni sustems. In 2013 the legislature passed a law lifting that ban and returning to status quo ante.

For over a hundred years prior to 1998 when a municipality formed its own school district it got control over the schools within its boundaries, regardless of what the county district wanted. There is no precedent for that not to happen now. The munis are simply operating on the same basis that every municipal school district formed in TN over the last hundred or more years has operated.

Nothing new, ample precedent, and nothing to challenge.

10 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by HellenicLad on 08/09/2013 at 8:58 AM

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