Canfield schools earned support
I would like to express my support for the Canfield Local School District levy. It is very disconcerting to listen to individuals discuss the topic when they have not done their research. The Canfield schools have not requested new tax money since 2002. Over the last decade, the school board has taken extreme cost cutting measures to keep the same budget and avoid bringing a tax levy to the ballot.
Unfortunately, these efforts have gone unnoticed. Despite all of the financial issues, the education available to our children is second to none. The state of Ohio has classified Canfield schools as “Excellent with Distinction” consistently over the last decade.
There is one key indicator that summarizes a school district’s spending — annual expenditures per pupil. This is data is published by the Ohio Department of Education. Canfield’s 2010 expenditures per student were $8,748. The average number in Ohio is $10,513. That means Canfield spends about 20 percent less than the average school in Ohio to educate a student. Canfield employs 23 fewer teachers, 26 fewer school building employees, and 14 fewer clerical employees than the average school district in our peer group.
These statistics were all published before the district recently announced that it would cut 14 teachers and 11 support staff. Asking the Canfield schools to cut costs is like asking a 90-pound person to shed another 10 pounds.
How much of this funding actually comes from Columbus? Ohio funding for public schools is a mess. We all know this. The school district has seen a decrease in funding over the last five years. How would your household fare with a potential 30 percent decrease in income over the last five years, despite rising costs of utilities, insurance and gasoline?
For those of you who are retired and don’t want to pay for another levy, please know that the community supported your children when they were in school; why can’t you do the same for the younger generation today? For those of you who are upset with teachers’ salaries, please let me remind you that most of these teachers have master’s degrees. The teachers in Canfield are making similar salaries to those in many nearby districts. In addition, they earn every penny of that salary. How many regular citizens have the patience to nurture 20 six-year-olds for seven hours a day? How many want the responsibility to educate teenagers to become the leaders of tomorrow? It takes a special person to fill teachers’ shoes.
Finally I would like to add that all of this is worthwhile because the quality of education in Canfield is second to none. Our community is only as good as our schools.
Susan Pannunzio, Canfield