I received the following press release in my inbox today. Normally I try to fact check such things, but with my wife in the hospital, and the time-sensitive nature of this topic, I've decided to post it "as is." If anyone has the time to check this out, please let me know what you find. If true, it's very disturbing, given TPS's recent plea for more money on the upcoming ballot. Thanks for reading. - Lawrence
WHAT: Toledo Public Schools to hold Public Hearing
WHEN: Saturday, October 23, 2010 - at 9:30 a.m.
WHERE: Heatherdowns Public Library - Glanzman Road, Toledo
In lieu of TPS's request from taxpayers to approve a 7.8 mil levy request, it is important that the public be made aware of how TPS spends taxpayer money. TPS has recently paid its attorneys MORE THAN A HALF MILLION DOLLARS to fight a family seeking educational service for their disabled daughter.
A PRESS RELEASE accompanies this NOTICE.
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My name is Scott Horen and I am a life-long Toledoan. As an alumni of Toledo Public Schools, something I am embarrassed to admit, I am deeply saddened and dismayed that the District treats children with disabilities in a neglectful manner. As a parent and consumer, I am shocked at the non-existent customer service the District extends to parents. As a taxpayer, I am outraged the District spends our tax dollars paying attorneys hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight against the interests of children, like my daughter, instead of investing these dollars into their education. I thought educating children was the mission of TPS - I was wrong.
In lieu of TPS's current attempts to get taxpayers to pass a 7.8 mil levy - I felt it was my duty to report how TPS spends your money.
My family filed an action against TPS after discovering that medical students were being provided access to study and examine our daughter without our knowledge. TPS attorneys Randy Meyer, Lisa Pizza, Jim Silk, and Ted Rowan from the firm of Spengler Nathanson, began a series of retaliatory acts on behalf of TPS to discredit my family, to break us down, to force us to cease advocating on behalf of our child. It won't work. While my family has suffered tremendous personal and financial stress brought on by TPS's retaliation, its attorneys have billed the district hundreds of thousands of dollars - being paid by you, the taxpayer, to deny our daughter the right to an education.
TPS has tossed our child out of the school, and permitted its attorneys to take part in filing at least FOUR legal claims against the Horens - we believe, to submit billable hours - lining their pockets off the back of our child. We have documented more than half a million dollars of billings paid to Spengler Nathanson over only a two year period, while our requests for more recent invoices has been ignored. Even the documents we were able to gather were deficient in providing an accurate accounting of the invoices TPS has paid to its attorneys, and it didn't include the hundreds of thousands of dollars of outstanding bills.
As I stand here today, TPS is gathering their attorneys, at a rate of $400 per hour, to take part in a scheduled hearing this morning, here at the Heatherdowns Branch library. The basis of the claim - TPS argues they do not have to provide our daughter any educational services because we want to tape record meetings regarding her education. According to Spengler Nathanson, TPS has spent more than four times the amount of money paying them, than TPS would have spent to provide our daughter an education up to the age of 22. She is only 12.
At our request, the hearing will be open to the public. You are invited to attend. I will be available for additional comments and explanation afterwards. While my wife and I will not stop advocating for our daughter, I would urge Toledo voters that if they find the levy request prudent, they should simply write a check straight to the firm of Spengler Nathanson. If not, protect your wallets and get out and vote NO on ISSUE 5!