To the editor:
Is this the beginning of the end for Leetonia Schools?
There is a very informative site (http:/www.Leetonia.k12.oh.us/) that shows the costs of passing the levy. I think everyone should review this information. What this site does not show, however, is the costs of NOT passing the levy. Times are worse than ever, and believe me; my family understands the value of a dollar, however there is more at stake here than you can put a price tag on.
What happens if the levy fails? The staff is reduced. Our teachers are already being paid less than nearly every other school in the county, now they will be asked to teach larger classes. It won't take long for our well-earned state rating of "Excellent" to be effected. This translates to our children receiving a substandard education.
Busing is cut. Clearly it is an inconvenience getting the children to and from school. We are a working class community. We have jobs. As a result of this, large numbers of these children will be forced to walk home. Also, Non-mandatory classes and extracurricular activities will be cut. Athletics will turn to "pay to play" and then possibly be eliminated completely. Other after school clubs and activities will also be eliminated.
Unsupervised kids, no busing, no sports or other after school activities, and most parents working until after 5 p.m. - are we stirring up a recipe for trouble? These kids deserve the opportunity to succeed, to have classes and activities available to them to prepare them for life. This is not possible without a sound school system.
Finally, our school will no longer be able to operate on its own. We will either be taken over by the state, in which case we will be at their mercy, or we will consolidate. I don't know with whom we would consolidate, but for example's sake, let's say Columbiana. After all the decisions have been made about who's going where on what bus at what time. After all of our Leetonia Bear attire is replaced with Columbiana Clipper things.
After we have resigned ourselves to our once strong district being spread so far and wide that it will be impossible to know all of our children's friends, teachers or others with whom they may have contact, it will be time to file our income taxes. What do you think we will find? Columbiana supports a 1 percent income tax for school funding. This would cost considerably more than the current levy. A poor school system also directly affects the value of your home. When the school system is so poor that it causes our home values decrease, I suppose our property tax will decrease as well. I guess that is one way to pay fewer taxes. I just ask that you please consider all sides of the Leetonia school levy before casting your vote. A NO vote will cost the community much more than a slightly higher property tax. A YES vote could start moving Leetonia toward becoming a school district we can take pride in. One that will offer our children everything they need for success and then some. The potential is here; the only thing missing is community support.