Despite detractors’ claims, district needs levy, bond issue

To the editor:

It is my firm belief that for the Worthington school district, both the currently proposed levy and the no-new-millage bond issue (Issues 53 and 54) are needed.

The former to be able to recruit and maintain an excellent staff in competition with similar districts (quality of schools maintains property values) – a staff that has consistently delivered outstanding results, culminating this year in what is expected to be an “excellent with distinction” grade from the state. The no-new-millage bond issue is needed for the expansion of technology and the maintenance of the physical plant.

Those of us living on fixed income and who want to see the value of our properties maintained should applaud the willingness of staff to aid the district by freezing salaries for a year and increasing contributions to health insurance. Likewise, we should applaud the board for having made some cuts and having opted for an incremental levy that makes things more of a “pay as you go” matter where moneys are collected as needed.

There will always be those who, like Lynn Lazorik last week, want to blame teachers’ compensation for the need of repeated levies; however, the reality is that it is the system for funding education in Ohio that is the culprit. The system has been declared unconstitutional because of its overreliance on property taxes.

Lazorik also appears to wish to minimize the impact that state and federal cuts have on the need for the current levy.

The reality is that the governor and the legislature have balanced the state budget, eliminating the $8 billion deficit by cutting funds to school districts, cities, counties, libraries, etc. Basically, legislators prefer that local officials do the heavy lifting rather than be accused of raising taxes.

Abramo Ottolenghi