School Levy Failures Harmful to Children

Editor, News-Register:

During the Nov. 5 elections in Ohio, there were wins and losses. There are people who are happy and those who are disappointed in the results. Although I am not an Ohio citizen I find the saddest and most disappointing loss to be the levies in our neighboring counties.

Learning that the kids in some of these counties do not have programs in the arts, music and technical classes or that these programs are only limited should be very disturbing to the voters. Are these important to the student as a whole? If and when these students attend higher education such as a college or university, they will be required to take a minimum number of classes in the arts.

Why? These institutions find it necessary in order to be a “well rounded” graduate they have to have more than reading, writing and math. This is just one the many opportunities that these kids in Ohio will be missing out on without the support of local levies.

What more classes and courses should these kids do without? What in a child’s education is not worth supporting?

These kids will never know, until they become tax-paying citizens, what these levies could have done for their education and most importantly for their future.

For those who voted “no,” I would hope that they did the research and investigation on what the funds would have actually cost them per year. I would have hoped that the local officials also did their homework and shared with the public the cost breakdown for each taxpayer.

Did the taxpayers know what little that is was going to cost them to have well educated citizens graduating from their schools? Did the taxpayers know what they would be losing if the levy failed? More important, do the kids know that their programs are cut, scaled back and eliminated because their community does not find it important to invest in the education of its own?

These things may have happened and if they did, shame on those who don’t find it important that your kids have all they can have to be successful and compete in a world that we all know we as U.S. citizens are behind. Those who voted “no” may not understand that it is not the county officials that get the funds from a levy. It is the programs that are noted on the levy call that the money is required to spend on.

There seems to be the idea that boards and districts who serve are the recipients of these dollars. That is not true. It has been said on blogs, Facebook and other social media that the officials of districts “are getting rich” from the levies. The citizens who serve the districts and boards of schools are paid a set amount that is dictated by state law. In some areas these officials do not get any compensation at all. Any funds that are collected by any levies are required by law to be spent only on the projects that are noted on the levy/bond call.

There will always be those who do not believe, those who don’t want to know and those who just don’t care what is being done with their tax dollars. Caring and making sure they are spent as stated is good, however, keeping kids and their education held hostage for all these years is sad. We can all hope that someday the voting public in the areas which will want only the best for their children who, in these times, will have a tough time being successful even with the best of everything. For those who did support and voted yes, keep on supporting the kids the best you can. When they come knocking at your door selling candy bars, pizza kits and such to pay for trips, programs and materials for their school please help them out and purchase something.

The best investment that we can make is in our kids, their schools, their educational materials, their athletics and their after school programs. Someday they will be the taxpayers and voters who will be voting on levies to fund the programs such as Meals on Wheels, senior programs and senior care.

Lori Kestner