Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Beacon Journal | 11/09/2005 | Akron schools suffer defeat

Beacon Journal | 11/09/2005 | Akron schools suffer defeat

Note to the Akron Public Schools - I voted against issue 78.

Normally I am one to vote to help the schools. I do believe that the children are our future, and one way to help draw people to the city are to have good schools. I also have two nieces who are in the Akron Public Schools right now.

However, you guys lost a lot of cred with my after the problems with the school building plan. When the original plan was proposed, and the plan that we all signed on for when we voted for the tax, was that all the current schools would remain open. After the plan was presented to the state, all of sudden we have to close a bunch of the schools, including upwards of half the high schools.

I felt like you intentionally deceived us, or are blindingly incompetent. When I read that the state would only support rebuilding/renovating schools with a total enrollment of 350 or more I was not happy. Don't get me wrong - there have been talk about closing some of these schools since I was in the Akron schools 20+ years ago. There was talk of Akron U buying Central Hower when I was in college 15+ years ago. With some of the grade schools having less than 150 students in K-4 (or is it 5?) it is hard to justify keeping a building running.

But why couldn't you be upfront about it all? Even if my alma mater was on the chopping block (which, in the state plan, it was) I would have voted for the tax. Why? Some state money is better than no money.

I realize that operating & captial monies pay for different things, but how do I know you are not lying to me now about the short fall in money? Yes, I know you have kept your word and held the line on expenses and are making progress toward improving test scores. But keeping your word and lying are different things.

There is one other thing:

To the Ohio legislature -

Last I heard the method that the state uses to fund schools is still unconstitutional according to the Ohio Supreme Court. You are working at your 5, 6th or more time through this process. You seemed more concerned with making sure gay marriage is a no-no (and then wonder why we have trouble getting people to move to Ohio), yet you cannot find a good way to constitutionally fund our public schools.

It maybe time to draw a line in the sand - no new taxes until the state can get its collective act together and at least find something that is constitutional. And maybe we all need to start voting against renewals as well.

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