Thursday, August 5, 2004

School levy votes

What you say

School levies failed in eight Greater Cincinnati districts and passed in two on Tuesday. Across Ohio, three-fourths of 103 school issues failed. Below are some of our readers' opinions.

The failure of all but two school levies locally indicates the downward spiral of freedom, spirit and enthusiasm in this country. No one minded spending billions on guns and bombs, but spending $1 million on books is apparently unacceptable. Patriotism is not putting a flag sticker on your car. Patriotism is not tying a yellow ribbon 'round the old oak tree. Patriotism is engaging yourself in the community, dedicating yourself and your dollars to the future of the nation. Patriotism is not only supporting the troops while they are in combat, but when they come back and need a job or health care or a place to live. There is no patriotism in a Vietnam War memorial when its veterans live in boxes across the street. There is no patriotism in a community that claims to support the troops but refuses to support its own children.

Dale Marie Pontz
North Avondale

Note to school board presidents, administrators and politicians: "It's not the economy, stupid!" Voters rejected the Sycamore Community Schools levy because the perceived value was less than the extra taxes they'd have to pay. It's a question of priorities and spending the already high per-student monies wisely. Post-9/11, when the economy was not so robust, neighboring Madeira voters approved their schools' bond issue because they saw the benefits of upgraded facilities to be greater than the incremental taxes they would pay to fund them. Politicians and school officials ought to think long and hard about the product they're delivering before they ask for more money. They may just have to do what the rest of us do and demand better return on their present level of funding.

Tom Campbell

Within your story covering the failed levies, an individual says people voted against them because of the economy. All economic indicators are up, showing great growth. The real reason for the levy failures is because people are sick and tired of being taxed to death. Also, it's a shame that Winton Woods City Schools will not have busing. I wonder what other cuts could be made that would not amount to extortionist tactics.

Doug Hoffman

When I saw the final results for Tuesday's school levy and that other schools went down to defeat, I couldn't help but say out loud, "Good for us, Mount Healthy!" I'm just a Springfield Township taxpayer living in the Mount Healthy School District with no school-age children at home anymore, but my wife and I made a special effort to make sure we voted because the Mount Healthy schools desperately need the money. This isn't for gold-plated fixtures in the bathrooms; this is money to keep the improvements going to educate our kids. I am proud to see that the community came together once again to help our schools. I think it says something very positive about the people in this little town that we care about our kids. Good for us, Mount Healthy!

Hank Mayberry
Springfield Township

The voters of Sycamore Community Schools have spoken and the mandate is clear. The burden of a balanced budget will not be borne solely by its taxpaying public. To support operations, parents should volunteer time and contribute to an even greater extent for fund-raising initiatives. Administration should be trimmed to per-student ratios in line with other excellent school systems. Teachers should voluntarily reduce in areas such as health benefits, salary increases, etc. Once these selfless efforts are made, and operating expenses are trimmed such that a lesser levy is sought, the community at large must support it. No one group should sacrifice to a greater degree than the others. The Sycamore school district is indebted to the student population whose achievements assist in ranking the system as one of the best in the state and nation. It would be shameful should those students bear the brunt of the reductions.

Debbie Coleman
Symmes Township

Have a topic you think readers should sound off on in this space? Send it to E-mail letters@enquirer.com, or call (513) 768-8359.

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