The levy for Olentangy Schools' funding is coming up on the ballot March 17. Vote "yes!"

The levy will consist of three parts. The operating levy is 7.4 mills, the permanent-improvements levy is 0.5 mills and there is a 30-year, $134.7 million bond issue for new buildings.

One mill is $1 per $1,000 of appraised value of a property. For Olentangy taxpayers, this will cost them $276 per $100,000 of their home value.

Enrollment has increased by almost 12,000 students since 2004. Since 2005, Olentangy has received around $182 less per student. In Ohio, it costs an average of $6,020 to educate a student, which means we should get $129 million. Most school districts in Ohio get $4,680 per student; Olentangy gets $600 to educate each student. That income gap is huge.

As a student at Olentangy Berlin High School, I personally experience the excellent school system. From the teachers to the technology, everything's at the highest degree. I know what type of environment and education is needed for success. We have that here at Olentangy Berlin, and I only hope that everyone can get that experience.

With growing neighborhoods in the Olentangy district, it is necessary to give all students an excellent school system. We need two elementary schools and another middle school by 2021; that projected cost is $103.5 million. That will be hard to complete with the district's current finances.

This levy for Olentangy will be extremely beneficial if it is approved. You must be registered by Feb. 18 to vote. The polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. March 17 -- make sure you are there!

Ashley Mallon