As a resident of Gahanna, I was extremely disappointed with the details of the cuts, layoffs and sports participation fees outlined by Gahanna-Jefferson Superintendent Mark White as detailed in your Feb. 17 edition of ThisWeek Rocky Fork Enterprise.

To the editor:

As a resident of Gahanna, I was extremely disappointed with the details of the cuts, layoffs and sports participation fees outlined by Gahanna-Jefferson Superintendent Mark White as detailed in your Feb. 17 edition of ThisWeek Rocky Fork Enterprise.

I firmly believe that we do not have a funding problem in our school district but that we have a spending problem - 82% of the entire Gahanna Jefferson school budget is devoted to teachers' salaries and benefits. However, it appears that the fundamental problem driving our deficits is being ignored and cuts are being proposed and approved that will for lack of a better word, extort the residents into passing the proposed 5.2-mill levy request in May.

Mr. White and the teachers have crafted a system where seniority is king and the bus drivers and teachers will continue to receive their salary "step increases" for longevity regardless of the size of the deficit or the negative effects it imposes on our district. It's really not about the children. It's about them.

For example, the word "performance" is never once mentioned when detailing the proposed administration or teacher layoffs that will devastate our district. One subpar kindergarten or elementary school teacher earning $90,000 a year could be eliminated in order to save two and a half new (low-salaried), high-performing teachers. But Mr. White and the teachers union will not even consider this course of action.

According to the article, the proposed elimination of high school busing would only save the district $320,000 dollars. The elimination of four $90,000-a-year kindergarten or elementary school teachers would allow the district to maintain this much-needed service.

But Mr. White and the teachers union will not even consider this course of action.

The question needs to be asked: Why? Why in a district that has seen teachers' salaries rise at double the rate of inflation over the last 10 years are the salaries still rising, with 5-percent step increases, when we are facing huge deficits?

If their stated goal is to do whatever is best for the students in the district, then they would think outside of the box and devise solutions that would allow us to operate within our means. But sadly they have allowed their own selfish interests to take priority and the taxpayer is expected to pay more - again and again.

I implore the voters of Gahanna to vote no on the proposed levy in May. I also implore the superintendent, school board and teachers of Gahanna Jefferson to stop the spiral of ever-rising salaries and benefits and do what is right for our district.

The taxpayer has already been asked to contribute too much and the proposed increase in the Gahanna income tax that will be on the November ballot is also misguided and should also be defeated. Please vote no in May.

Glenn Reid

Gahanna