A few observations on the current Pickerington school "crisis":

To the editor:

A few observations on the current Pickerington school "crisis":

First, the sky is not falling. Turns out, the shortfall in state funding for PLSD will probably be just over 2 percent, or less than $1 million - nowhere near the scary 13-percent reduction forecast by PLSD and widely broadcast in a media-fueled panic.

Actually, of 24 school districts in the central Ohio area, Pickerington comes out best with $4 million in revenue provided by sources other than local school district taxes (a combination of unspent federal aid and proposed state budget funding).

The net effect for 15 of the school districts is a negative one. While the larger (federal) portion of this funding must be spent on staffing costs during the current school year, it cannot be discounted.

Second, currently nearly three of every four dollars spent on PLSD athletics and extracurricular activities come from taxpayers. As a member of this community, I owe a good education to our young people. But taxpayers do not have the same obligation for sports and other elective activities. As was my school experience, these activities were, and should be, funded voluntarily, not by forced taxation. I hope the upcoming community-inspired and -sponsored fundraiser for athletics is a rousing success.

Third, throughout the current school "crisis," PLSD teachers continue to receive their "step" pay increases. If the monetary situation is as dire as stated, and many teachers are actually losing their jobs, shouldn't our teachers follow the lead of their counterparts in other financially troubled central Ohio school districts and offer to forfeit these increases until the "crisis" passes?

Fourth, necessity is indeed the mother of invention. Much is being made of innovative restructuring efforts (e.g., global learning) now being put into place to better spend PLSD tax resources. Where were these dollarwise strokes of genius before "crisis" struck?

Were they not implemented because they weren't really needed then? I wonder.

Jack Wittenmeier