Upper Arlington

Exceptional community should maintain top notch schools

To the Editor:

Excellence matters in education, and voting for Issue 52 will help UA schools continue its tradition of excellence.

But the small group of citizens opposing Issue 52 has once again written to this paper with misleading information.

In his letter to the editor, F. Timothy Thurston asserts that school property tax rates have skyrocketed in recent years. That's not true. Since 1999, UA school property taxes have risen from 44.6 effective mills to the current rate of 47.8 effective mills, a mere 7-percent increase.

As a point of comparison, the cumulative U.S. inflation rate over that same period is over 40 percent.

Nor are UA's taxes especially high. Bexley, New Albany, Westerville, Hilliard, Dublin, Worthington and Olentangy all have higher school tax rates.

Mr. Thurston also suggests that Issue 52 will decrease the value of our homes. Again, not true. Excellent schools raise property values. The quality of public education in UA is an important reason why your home is worth more than a similar home in other communities.

Finally, Mr. Thurston claims that Issue 52 will not benefit children. False. Issue 52 will put dollars straight into classroom instruction. And if Issue 52 does not pass, the district will be forced to cut 65 teaching and other positions. Fewer teachers, larger classes and less money for instruction will obviously harm students.

We're an exceptional community with exceptional schools. That's why my family and I have lived here for almost 30 years and why I have sent my two children to UA schools. I urge you to vote for Issue 52.

H. Scott McKenzie
Upper Arlington