The Ohio School Boards Association strongly encourages residents of Upper Arlington to vote "yes" for Issue 51.

To the Editor:

The Ohio School Boards Association strongly encourages residents of Upper Arlington to vote "yes" for Issue 51.

Revenue from the 5.8-mill operating levy will help maintain UA schools' academic excellence and strong record of fiscal responsibility.

UA schools is one of only two districts in Franklin County to receive the grade of "excellent with distinction" 11 years in a row on the Ohio Department of Education's Local Report Card.

As you know, your community expects and demands quality programs, outstanding teachers and reasonable class sizes -- all of which will be impacted if Issue 51, (the lowest millage request since 1984) does not pass.

Upper Arlington's academic excellence is achieved even though administrative costs per pupil are among the lowest in Franklin County.

Furthermore, staff has agreed to base salary freezes and to pay more in healthcare premiums. District administrators have frozen their own salaries, too. Fiscally responsible steps like these have helped stretch the last school levy (approved in 2007) to last five years -- two years longer than originally projected.

The truth of the matter is, Upper Arlington schools can no longer rely on state funding to cover daily operating expenses and community support is needed to make up for an estimated $3.6-million loss in state funding. A projected increase in new student enrollment and inflationary increases in general operating expenses are other factors that simply require more funds and your "yes" vote.

Supporting Issue 51 will help Upper Arlington schools continue to provide a world-class education to your children without cuts to outstanding programs and services. That's why, on Nov. 6, I strongly urge residents of the Upper Arlington school district to vote "yes" for Issue 51. It is a wise investment in your "excellent with distinction" school system.

Richard Lewis
Executive director,
Ohio School Boards Association