[ back ]
Community members step forward to champion levy
Four Reynoldsburg residents will lead a broad-based committee in support of Reynoldsburg City Schools' May operating levy request.
The board of education unanimously approved a resolution to place a 15.6 mill operating levy on the May 5 ballot. The levy would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $39.82 a month. Board members said the levy plan would meet four demands made during a community meeting attended by 800 people:
1. Protect the programs and services now offered in the schools.
2. Create long-term stability for the school district's operating budget.
3. Streamline costs wherever possible without eliminating student programs.
4. Increase communication about financial issues, and other issues important to the district.
If approved, the levy would generate $12 million annually for the operations of the district, which would curtail the need for substantial cuts and keep the district budget in the black for at least five years. The district has cut costs by $6.5 million in the past three years. The administration pledges to continue to implement cost-saving measures and will introduce cost-effective communications tools.
Superintendent Stephen D. Dackin has identified $11 million in immediate cuts that would be necessary without new local revenue. Potential reductions include:
• Eliminating K-6 art, music and physical education.
• Reducing transportation to state minimum requirements: eliminating high school busing and offering busing only to K-8 students who live more than two miles from their schools.
• Eliminating funding for sports and extra-curricular activities: Participation fees would be $800 per child per sport for athletics.
• Eliminating 44 core-subject teachers.
• Eliminating elective courses, including German and French at the high school level, as well as Spanish at the junior high level.
• Shortening the student day to the five-hour state minimum and closing school buildings at the end of the school day.
A community campaign committee has selected four chairs to lead efforts to support the operating levy. They are:
Albrecht has two children attending Reynoldsburg Schools, and one in preschool. He has lived in Reynoldsburg for more than 20 years and has been involved in children's community sports programs and the French Run Watch DOGS (Dads of Great Students) program. Albrecht says he volunteered to ensure the value of Reynoldsburg's education system is well communicated to the community.
Hedrick is a 13-year resident of Reynoldsburg and a 2008 graduate of Reynoldsburg High School. In his senior year, he served as president of the marching band. Currently, he is studying political science at Ohio State University. Hedrick says he believes that education plays a crucial role in society as a defense against encroachments on personal liberty.
Ligon has lived in Reynoldsburg for five years. She has two daughters: one at Baldwin Road Junior High School and one in all-day kindergarten at Liberty Christian Academy. Miss Ligon has worked in career development, sales and public relations. She says that high quality schools attract families to the community and keep them in Reynoldsburg.
Smith has lived in Reynoldsburg for six years. She is retired from the US. Department of Defense, where she was a computer systems programmer, computer specialist and supervisor. She has two grandchildren in Reynoldsburg schools. Smith says she joined the campaign committee in order to protect the quality of the public education system in Reynoldsburg.
The campaign committee chose as its treasurer, James H. Smith, the husband of co-chair Christine Smith. James Smith is a CPA and has a degree in law. He has experience in management of finance and administration of a manufacturing company and previously served on boards of education in Illinois. Most recently, he owned a CPA practice in Kentucky until retiring in 2005 and moving to Reynoldsburg. James Smith can be reached at 367-7021 or email@example.com.
[ back ]