Olentangy Schools faces a critical ballot issue March 17. As president of the school board, I would humbly like to share the reality of our district's situation with the community that elected and charged me with this responsibility.

Olentangy's continued growth, coupled with a stagnant cap on our state funding, are the reasons we are on the ballot.

Since we last came before voters in 2016, Olentangy has added approximately 1,800 students.

Through diligent cost-saving measures, we were able to make our three-year commitment to the community stretch an additional year. We now return to our voters to add needed buildings and continue to provide current programs and services.

I can assure the community that the district is continually looking for ways to trim budgeted expenditures. Furthermore, we will continue to lobby the state of Ohio for fair funding. I share the outrage of the community that Olentangy receives only $640 per student from the state, while private schools receive double that amount at $1,376 per student. Voting "no" will not send state legislators a message. I would encourage residents who feel this way to investigate if that was the case for districts that have failed levies.

After the votes are counted March 17, Olentangy will move forward.

With success, we will continue the services and programs that make Olentangy what it is today; with failure, we will regrettably eliminate programs and services from our budget at all levels, reduce busing to state minimums and curtail extracurricular activities.

I urge you to vote "yes" March 17. Please have all the facts when you cast your ballot.

Mindy Patrick

president, Olentangy school board