To the editor:

To the editor:

There are basic things that we all need for a good life.

At United Way of Licking County, we believe that education, income and health are the building blocks that lead to a good life. A quality education is essential to finding the job that can provide a living wage and health benefits. Remove any of these building blocks and the other two will tumble.

During challenging times, it is important that we protect and support the areas that keep our local communities strong, such as quality schools. Numerous Licking County school districts are in need of our support on May 5. A vote to support education is an opportunity to reach out your hand and influence the condition of all.

It takes everyone in the community working together to create a brighter future. Together, united, we can inspire hope and create opportunities for a better tomorrow. We all win when a child succeeds in school, when families are stable, and when people have good health.

That's what it means to "Live United." Please join United Way in supporting Licking County schools.

Laura Lewis, board president

Licking County United Way

To the editor:

This economy meltdown has affected everyone in various ways. As a senior citizen, I have tightened my belt again in many of the ways we saved during the Great Depression and the second World War.

I am a mother, grandmother and former teacher and I know the importance of educating our children. Today's mentality of heaping more debt on the taxpayer is morally wrong.

At times like these, administrators must tighten their belts as well and start searching for ways to be inventive. I remember that we hired high school students to do custodial work, giving them a job and teaching them responsibility at the same time. Parents were teacher's helpers for tutoring children. We had sales for baked goods, Christmas trees and other items so we could buy new books for the library and the classroom.

Our thoughts were focused on ways to get the community involved in money making events. We did not run to the taxpayer to pay our way or solve our problems. Property tax now is an important source of the school's financing and I feel that I am doing my share when I pay my taxes.

I will not support the (Northridge schools) 9.9-mill school tax levy by voting for it. I suggest the administration goes back to the drawing board and starts asking itself some hard questions and come up with a more intelligent, fair way to manage their school.

Phyllis B. Andreasen

Pataskala

To the editor:

Before moving to the Northridge Local School District several years ago, my husband and I had done some research into the schools and found them to have a great reputation, while being a "small town" size.

To our delight, we have found that reputation to be well-earned and our children have received a wonderful, well-rounded educational experience at Northridge.

Northridge now finds itself in need of increased funding to provide our children, the future of our community, with the fundamental building blocks of a quality education. I believe our schools are doing a tremendous job, working to provide a high-quality education and all of the extra and co-curricular activities -- not just athletics.

Northridge needs you -- and it is with honor and pride that I will be voting, and urge you to vote, yes for the levy on May 5.

Jodi McDaniel

Johnstown

To the editor:

2 p.m.: Bell Rings. 2:15 p.m.: Students head home. 2:20.p.m.: Northridge closes its doors to community members and students alike, unable to keep them open due to a failed levy.

All sports and co-curricular programs will be cut, including art, phys ed, and music for grades K-6. As a student I was involved in various sports and activities. The other night I realized the impact of cutting these events. I attended the levy support meeting. After the meeting I toured the high school with a friend.

As we stepped into the gymnasium, chills ran down my neck. I could picture every event I experienced there: pep rallies with the band and teams, games won and lost, graduation receiving our diplomas. We passed lockers decorated for current students and trophy cases filled with alumni awards; I wondered if upcoming students would have the same opportunities as I.

Academics are the school's priority and our foundation. However, extra-curricular activities enrich classroom learning. Confidence grows; we learn responsibility, commitment, teamwork and to be competitors. These events create friendships and memories that last lifetimes.

On May 5, when posed with the decision to vote for the levy, consider the activities in which you participated. Imagine watching your children or grandchildren sing in the musical or score the winning point; now imagine not seeing that.

Without the levy these opportunities will vanish. I believe current and future students should have the same opportunities that we have had in the past.

Heather Dysart

Class of 2000

To the editor:

I am writing on behalf of the Northeast Suburban Real Estate Association (NESREA). We are a nonprofit local organization of realtors and affiliates supporting the Johnstown and Northridge school systems.

As realtors, our experience has shown that the quality of schools is one of the most important factors for buyers and sellers of real estate.

For buyers, communities that support quality schools are the most desirable places to live and raise a family. Buyers will invest more for homes that are served by quality schools.

For sellers, quality schools mean higher property values, better resale, and more buyer interest when it is time to sell a home. The dollars spent supporting your schools can possibly result in several thousand additional dollars to homeowners selling their homes.

We encourage voters to support quality schools by voting for local school levies. It is the best way to protect property values both now and in the future.

Robert Rowe

NESREA president

Utica

To the editor:

I would like to clear up some misconceptions. First of all the teacher incentives were not the teachers' idea. Second of all we no longer have teacher incentives. That was one of the first things cut. We have not had those incentives this year. Thirdly the teachers have agreed to a two-year pay freeze.

What did we get for those incentives? We got excellent rated schools.

This levy is not about the teachers. It is about the kids. It is about increased costs, less state funding, and doing what's right for students. Think about your own life in high school. Things that have always been and should be part of the high school experience are on the chopping block.

While it is true that academics should be of major importance, it's the extra things, football, band, choir, musicals, FFA, French, quiz bowl, etc. that enrich our students and give them experiences in leadership and character.

Please look at the list of classes and teachers that have already been cut. Do you want state minimum? Be proactive and make sure that you exercise your responsibility as a citizen and vote yes for this Johnstown levy on May 5. Northridge voters should vote yes for their levy too. Both of these have an impact on our local community.

Is your child, your neighbor's child, worth 81 cents a day?

Please vote with your heart, not your wallet. It's the right thing to do.

Cindi Reeves

J-M teacher

Johnstown

To the editor:

In certain areas of our lives, we accept without question increases in our bills. Some appointed group that we have no voter control over says they need more money, and we pay it. We don't question it; we really just expect it to increase.

On the other hand, we elected five school board members and if one of the five wants to cut things as unnecessary -- I could see questioning that. But when four of the five, some with tears in their eyes, say without additional funding, the cuts are absolutely necessary -- we still question that.

We say that although we pay less school taxes than 20 years ago, the schools don't need more money, that they must learn to "make do" with what they have. Yet we expect raises in our paycheck and cost of living raises in our fixed incomes.

If we don't like a board member's decisions, we can use our voter power to replace them.

I'm a high school teacher in Franklin County, and I've seen programs cut and the devastation caused by unsuccessful levies. I have never been more proud of a group of high school students than these Johnnies who are working to salvage their educational opportunities.

We need to support these students, and we have a responsibility to do what is right for them at the polls on May 5. Please vote for schools.

Kathy Benton

Johnstown