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Critical Support: A Reasonable Investment
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"Real Needs...Right Now."

More than $5.7 million has been cut from the Westerville Schools budget since the May levy failed and dozens of positions (administrative, teaching, transportation, custodial) have been eliminated. As in so many other school districts across Ohio and this country, if you walk into a Westerville classroom this fall, you are likely to find larger classes, fewer supplies and reduced student services.

Through the years, our school district has done more with less much more. Despite this success, we still have much work to do.  Citizens may understandably ask: "If you are making such big progress during a time when you have taken such deep cuts, why are you asking for more support now?" The answer is simple: All the fat from the budget has been cut. Further reductions will hurt students in our classrooms and threaten the very real progress we are making in raising student achievement.

The referendum that people are being asked to approve would provide only enough funding to maintain the momentum that is making Westerville one of the most-watched suburban school districts in Ohio. It would generate enough funds to eliminate the district's projected deficit for the 2003-04 school year, but not enough to make up any of the painful cuts that were made over the past few years or to cushion us from further state cuts to education. All funds would go to support programs that directly serve students at school and program sites. 

To provide this critical support, the owner of a median-priced ($100,000) home would be asked to pay an additional $230 per year or about 63 cents per day in local property taxes. That's a reasonable investment in our district's future.

Concerns about this referendum are important to understand and address. Residents who have questions should call their childs school and ask to speak to the principal, call the school board or administration, attend a public town meeting or find information on school web sites.  The information is available. 

Each generation must take care of the next. One way to do this is to ensure that there is enough money to provide quality education for our children. While our legislators made changes in how education is funded, they did not change the amount of money needed to educate a child. With that goal in mind, I strongly urge all our fellow citizens to join me in voting yes for Westerville kids on Nov. 4.

Kelly Sitz

Westerville Voters On Target for Education