Upper Arlington

Levy vote leaves schools at crossroads

To the editor:

The citizens of Upper Arlington have been duped into denying the school district an absolutely necessary operating levy.

The campaign of printing distorted information about teachers' and administrators' salaries has borne fruit. Everyone in UA would seem to be part of "the 1 percent" if salaries of private employees included the cost of benefits. Unfortunately, the hugely inflated salary numbers for school staff stuck in people's minds.

Since leaving the teaching profession after the 2010-2011 school year, I have been a substitute teacher and tutor not only in UA but also in Hilliard, Dublin, Worthington and Olentangy. UA schools definitely do not compare favorably in terms of infrastructure, so we have to compete with other districts in terms of teaching staff and programs.

The cuts that will occur because of the operating levy's defeat will be even more serious and affect the district's educational quality.

Meanwhile, the other districts around us have matured and developed their own fine programs. Their buildings are much newer and more pleasant than those in UA. The only way for Upper Arlington schools to remain competitive is to ensure that we hire and retain excellent teachers.

The district's taxpayers should also keep in mind that most UA teachers live in the district. The tax bill for teachers increases whenever taxes go up to support the schools. It is patently untrue to argue that district teachers don't pay their fair share. There is no joy in paying taxes, but as the saying goes, "taxes pay for civilization."

Please, citizens of UA, support our public schools. We are at a crossroads and the path downward will be quickly steep.

Linda Roomann, J.D.
Upper Arlington