Even if by absentee ballot, vote for the schools

To the editor:

I am writing as an absentee voter currently residing in Upland, Ind., where I am a freshman in college at Taylor University. I just wanted to remind the community of Worthington about the importance of voting on local issues while away at school, work, military service, etc. Absentee voters who are students should be especially involved in voting on local issues, specifically for the purpose of supporting Issues 53 and 54, which affect the future of Worthington schools.

Here are the facts:

- Issue 53 is an incremental operating levy, which means it is phased in so we only receive the funds necessary to balance our budget. It starts at 4.9 mills and phases in to 6.9 mills over three years. This will prevent $10 million in cuts, which would damage education.

- Issue 54 is a no-new-millage bond issue to maintain and repair facilities and to provide funds for new educational technology for students. This will not increase our taxes.

Other key facts to keep in mind are these:

- Passage of the Worthington school levies would help maintain our excellent schools and avoid cuts that affect educational opportunities for Worthington students.

- The state has cut $10 million in funding to Worthington schools over two years.

- Our district has tightened its belt and cut $3 million from the budget since 2009, including 40 staff positions.

- All staff members have agreed to pay freezes and are paying more for health care.

- If the levy fails, Worthington will need to eliminate $10 million over several years.

- Total cost for both issues starts at $12 a month and gradually increases to $17 a month per $100,000 of property valuation.

- Worthington has one of the lowest residential effective millage rates when compared to surrounding districts in central Ohio, thus translating to lower property taxes.

As you can see, it is of utmost importance that ThisWeek inform its readers of these issues that will severely affect Worthington schools. Hopefully, word will get around to the absentee voters because that is what I am most concerned about. Every vote counts, and they deserve to be advised of the consequences of Issues 53 and 54.

Allison Good