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.
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
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
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
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.
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