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WEA Backs Levy
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WEA urges support for school levy

The Westerville Education Association has passed a resolution "fully endorsing and vigorously supporting" the 7.5-mill, three-year school levy on the ballot Nov. 4.

During the bond issue campaign to build and renovate schools, there was no hiding the fact that operating dollars would be needed, especially since there has been no additional operating millage in the last 12 years.

The board of education has made cuts to balance the budget that have directly affected our students through loss of programs, increased fees and larger class sizes. State funding has also been slashed. If the levy fails in November, further cuts will be necessary -- an even greater increase in class size, a loss of more teaching positions and the reduction of curriculum requirements to state minimums.

Passage of the levy will give the district the financial stability it needs for the next three years.

The WEA urges you to vote "yes" for the school levy.

Andre Prenoveau

President

Westerville Education Association

~~~~

 

Reprinted courtesy of the Westerville News & Public Opinion/SNP

ęCopyright Suburban News Publications, Columbus, Ohio, 2003

Originally published September 24, 2003

WEA backs levy, not candidates

Teachers union takes no stance on three of the four candidates for two seats Nov. 4.

By JOHN SHERIDAN

The Westerville Education Association Monday publically came out in support of the proposed operating levy Westerville voters will decide come Nov. 4.

The teachers union also decided it would take no position on three out of the four school board candidates running for two available seats, and a "no" endorsement stance on the fourth.

Union President Andre Prenoveau said the union is taking no stance on the candidacy of incumbent Cindy Crowe or challengers Rick Banton and Max Machuta.

However, Prenoveau said, the union decided 31-year-old Alex Heckman, while having potential, was currently too inexperienced to serve on the school board.

"We don't believe he has the depth of experience needed for this position at this time," he said.

The primary reason for the union's position on the school board candidates is to focus attention on the levy, Prenoveau said.

The teachers union has backed candidates in every contested school board election since at least 1989. It usually follows the endorsement with a large campaign contribution, ranging to $5,000, as well as volunteer help to do literature drops and phone bank calling to registered voters.

Heckman is a 1991 Westerville South High School graduate. Heckman is a professor of public administration at Capital University. He is a currently working on his doctorate, also in public administration.

He formerly was a budget and policy analyst for the Ohio Legislature under former Speaker of the House Jo Ann Davidson.

"(The 'no' endorsement) flies in the face of the facts," Heckman said. "I am a certified teacher, with a degree in education."

As a professor he said he is familiar with the issues and challenges faced by teachers and his background in finance, budget and management make him more than qualified for the job, he added.

Heckman speculated the union is perhaps more comfortable with with the other three candidates and were wary of a fresh perspective.

"I have the experience to hit the ground running," he said.

The union is, however, backing the proposed three-year, 7.5-mill operating levy the district is proposing.

The levy would add $230 of taxes annually for every $100,000 of a home's valuation as determined by the Franklin or Delaware County auditors.

Westerville homeowners currently pay $1,086 in school taxes per $100,000 of valuation.

On Monday, Prenoveau told the Westerville school board that the WEA on Sept. 15 agreed to "fully support and vigorously endorse the new levy."

He noted the district needs more dollars to operate due to the opening of the three new school buildings over the past two years.

 

Read more Central Ohio community news at www.SNPonline.com

Westerville Voters On Target for Education