Don’t blame your local board
Charter schools and vouch- ers take money from public school districts. Almost $800 million in state funding went to charter schools last year.
Why increase public tax dollars to charter schools when most earned a failing grade from the last year? It only puts millions into the pockets of the profiteers who run charter schools that helped elect Kasich governor. Expanding charter schools increases Kasich campaign profits at the expense of our children, Kasich has slashed money from our neighborhood schools forcing local tax hikes.
Districts are asking voters this May and again in November for higher tax levies to maintain school programs needed by our students. Even though the Ohio Supreme Court has declared the state’s school-funding system unconstitutional because it relies too heavily on local property taxes, the system remains in place, thanks to Kasich and the Republican majority who remain in contempt of court.
When you go to the polls, don’t blame superintendents or school boards.
Ed Freisen, Newton Falls
Property taxes are unfair
Springfield Township has an issue on the upcoming election ballot for an additional property tax levy to pay for a new elementary school. The condition of the school supposedly has been deemed deplorable for the children.
I can understand that having a new school would be absolutely wonderful. But I have an issue with the funding through more property taxes. For one thing I believe that only property owners should have the right to vote on a property tax issue. Yes, this would mean that those over 18 who are still living at home and those who rent would not be allowed to vote on such an issue. I have heard that landlords will pass their increased taxes onto the renters, however, the vast majority of property owners have no way to offset their increased taxes.
Another issue I would like to put forth is one that involves people on low income. I am 72 years of age, I have an income of $730 a month. That income is not likely to increase, although I did get an extra $5 per month raise in my Social Security check. I have all the expenses involved in being a homeowner, which include insurance, utilities and upkeep. I also have the normal expenses of having a car and buying groceries, which does not include the best cuts of meat. I have health issues and that means co-pays add another burden to my budget. I know I am not the only one in this community that has this type of situation. Many of us, young and older, are struggling.
I am not against a new school being built. I just think more property tax is unfair because my income is not increasing. Please let me know where I get that money to give our kids a new school. Do I have to sacrifice the few things I enjoy to ensure a nicer, prettier, and more comfortable classroom for the township children?
And will a new school with air conditioning, prettier classrooms and executive offices give our children a better education?
Gail Taylor, New Springfield
Give Brookfield students support
We in Brookfield have a very important issue to decide on May 7. Brookfield residents will be asked to support a 4.85-mill levy. I have a very real understanding of the economic situation we are all facing at this time. Gas prices soaring, food prices on the rise, cost of medication for seniors is out of control. I get that, and I feel all of that pain myself.
Should the levy fail, here is the result. All property owners get to keep a couple extra dollars in their pockets every week, maybe the cost of a cup of coffee or two a day. The students at Brookfield will continue with below-acceptable standards of education. The teachers, no doubt, will continue to do everything they can, but with outdated materials and few supplies. Our high school students may not have the credits available to graduate. Our district will be placed in fiscal emergency by the state of Ohio. There is a direct correlation between the value of a person’s real estate and how well the school system performs in the community. If the schools are not performing, who wants to move here?
Should the levy pass, we are again able to build our programs to a level where they once were. We can give the teachers the updated materials they need to meet the demands of an ever more challenging curriculum. We can start to replace our very old bus fleet. Most important we give our students, Brookfield students, the chance to compete with other students, where right now they are working at a disadvantage.
The comment I hear the most in any community trying to pass a levy is this: “If we pass a levy, all the school does is give everybody raises.” I know at Brookfield, our teachers are currently in a four-year contract that contains four years of base pay freezes, along with other concessions in health care. Please cast your vote with the children of Brookfield in your heart if you really can’t afford the levy, then vote how you must. Just please don’t cast your vote with malice that you may have or a rumor you may have heard.
Jay Bodnar, Brookfield
The writer is a physical education teacher at Brookfield Local School District.