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The Scribe

Westerville South High School

October 13, 2003

Volume IX Issue 2


The Final Say

The Scribe sounds off about the upcoming levy


            Over the past weeks, Terry Wike, the Chairman and Treasurer of the Westerville Action Group has been circulating letters in the community outlining problems with the school system and proclaiming why the fall levy for Westerville City schools should not have the support of voters.


            This letter chastises the district for "wasteful" spending and encourages residents to deny the district the funds requested on the upcoming ballot. In addition to many others in the district, The Scribe found this letter was riddled with inaccuracies.


The letter rebukes the district's $15 million delegated to retirement benefits within the budget. However, the state mandates the amount of money Westerville City Schools pay out in retirement benefits. This is not something to be "talked about," as Wike says. It is simply a non-negotiable matter.


            Wike also complains that our school system is rated "efficient" and not "excellent," in spite of all the taxes paid out by Westerville citizens. This, too, is inaccurate as our district is currently rated "effective," meaning the district met 18 of 22 state-wide indicators. "Effective" is the second highest rating a district can receive.


            In addition to scrutinizing how money is spent within the district, Wike protests that students in the district should not need remedial courses upon entering college. However, within the district only 32 percent of students need remedial classes to qualify for college courses. The state average is 36 percent.


            Inaccuracies aside, The Scribe feels that this individual could not possibly know first-hand of the situation within Westerville City Schools. With his children enrolled in private school, Wike never experienced the trouble that many Westerville students and parents came to know all too well at the start of this past year.


Wike claims that the schools should leave character education to parents and get back to the basics of math and English. The Scribe believes creating well-rounded citizens requires a balanced education in all areas, including integrity and tolerance.


The Scribe also believes that Wike was blatantly wrong in claiming that last spring's levy failure proved voters have no faith in the school board. On the contrary, the editorial staff judges that voters were confused about why the district needed more money and were not provided with enough factual information.


It is The Scribes hope that the Westerville Action Groups circulation of false information and anti-levy sentiments will not stop the voters of Westerville from supporting the schools.


Now is the time the district needs funding the most. Without the levy, more classes will be cut, more programs will lose funding, and what was once an effective district will find itself in serious financial trouble.


The Scribe hopes that voters will take the initiative to research and find the facts, not the fallacies, of Westerville City Schools operating levy and vote yes to support the schools.



            Reprinted with permission.

Westerville Voters On Target for Education