Issue 76 on the Nov. 4 ballot is designed to maintain the district's current class sizes and excellent academic programs. We have one of the premier school districts in the state of Ohio, if not the country, and we want to keep what we've all worked so hard to build.

Issue 76 on the Nov. 4 ballot is designed to maintain the district's current class sizes and excellent academic programs. We have one of the premier school districts in the state of Ohio, if not the country, and we want to keep what we've all worked so hard to build.

Issue 76 is a combined 7.9-mill operating levy and $50-million no new-millage bond issue. The ballot question is one vote, for or against, the issue.

Teachers and support staff are paid with operating funds and by law, operating dollars and bond dollars are separate pots of money that can only be used for their designated purposes. Operating levies pay for salaries, benefits and utilities, while bond money funds buildings, maintenance, equipment, technology and other tangible items.

The no new-millage bond issue will fund a variety of infrastructure items during the coming year, including safety and security improvements at all district buildings. The entrances of the district's buildings will be reconfigured to prevent unauthorized access during the school day. Additional cameras, security alarms and an instant notification system also are part of the safety and security package.

The bond issue also will fund the construction of a new elementary school on donated land in the northwestern portion of the district, and classroom additions at Coffman, Karrer and Davis that will help us minimize redistricting and avoid construction of a costly fifth middle school.

The technology portion of the issue will fund computers, networks, printers, software and video equipment essential to keeping our students competitive in the 21st century.

The bond issue also will fund equipment replacement such as buses and general building maintenance that protects the community's investment in our school infrastructure.

The technology and safety and security pieces of the bond issue came from citizen-led committees that met last school year to study the district's needs. The recommendations of those two committees were reviewed by the board of education and incorporated into Issue 76.

The operating levy makes up the remainder of Issue 76. Taxpayers will not be asked to pay any additional taxes until January 2010. At that time, the issue will cost taxpayers $242 per $100,000 of home valuation.

The no new-millage bond issue will not cost taxpayers any additional dollars.

With almost 89 percent of the district's budget utilized for salaries and benefits, budget reductions necessitated by an issue failing would inevitably involve personnel cuts, resulting in increased class sizes and elimination of programs.

We have a caring and highly qualified teaching staff that we want to maintain. More than 60 percent of the district's teachers have at least a master's degree.

The quality of our school district is not simply a matter of opinion.

Our "excellent with distinction" rating from the state puts a data-driven stamp on the work being done in this school district. In addition to the district-wide rating of "excellent with distinction," all of the district's buildings were rated "excellent" or "excellent with distinction."

We believe one of the keys to our success is maintaining manageable class sizes. Class sizes in the district vary depending upon grade level and building, but the district has ideal class sizes in mind that it strives to maintain.

The district's administration feels strongly enough about the importance of class sizes and the learning environment, that there are "red light" numbers for each grade, at each building. If those numbers are reached, that grade level is capped and students are bused to another building with additional capacity.

Grade levels at Thomas and Olde Sawmill elementary schools have been capped already this school year.

We believe in personalized instruction. Maintaining our current class sizes will allow our staff to continue to provide our students with a high quality education.

Our professional teachers care about the futures of all of our children.

David Axner is superintendent of Dublin City Schools.

David

Axner