Stop yearning for the basics of the 1950s
Allow me to explain why we should not disparage the salaries and benefits of our South-Western City School teachers (and other public servants such as firefighters and police officers).
Some say we could save money by "going back to the basics," but here’s a little history about basics:
There was a time in Jackson Township when our "medic unit" consisted of a converted bread truck and a volunteer nurse. Volunteer firefighters ran from their homes to put out fires by answering an alarm blasted from the old fire station on Broadway. Our police chief once had to stop by a local flower shop to get his emergency messages because Grove City had no two-way radios. Teachers used to be trained at two-year "normal colleges," which was a step up from the teaching requirement of possessing a high school diploma.
The state of Ohio has created standards for firefighters, police officers and teachers. For teachers, those requirements include step raises of some amount from their employer, teaching license renewal, and obtaining a master’s degree within 10 years of the start of their career. Advanced degrees aren’t free.
If the voters want quality firefighters, medics, police officers and teachers, they need to move beyond yearning for a return to the basics of the 1950s. If we discourage our youngsters from these professions or drive current teachers to other districts, what have we accomplished? If you want to attract and retain experienced, professional teachers, the school board needs to offer benefits and competitive salaries.
The very essence of "community" means a shared experience that requires shared sacrifice. Issue 47 is vital to retaining quality education in our district. Stand up and vote ‘yes’ on Nov. 3 for the future of our schools.
Health bills keep me from voting ‘yes’
I did not vote for the levy and I am not ashamed. Here are the reasons why I voted ‘no.’
1 – I have no extra money.
2 – The reason I have no extra money is because my wife got breast cancer and had to be off work for chemotherapy and radiation treatments. While she was off, she was terminated from her job.
3 – After her termination, she lost her health insurance. Now, we will be paying all her expenses on our own.
4 – I am retired and my income is limited. I have also had cancer and several surgeries, which we are still paying for.
I feel that South-Western needs to take another look at their situation and if that means cutting some programs – so be it. When I was working, my job application did not ask me how many sports I played, whether I played an instrument or sang in a choir. Great, if the schools can afford these extracurricular activities, but if not – get back to the basics. School is for one thing – education.
All of my expenses are in addition to my taxes, which in my opinion are very high. I have voted for South-Western levies in the past, but I can no longer afford it.
State needs to step up
Thank you Marty Allmon for stating teachers are not overpaid. I am a hopeful future educator for students with developmental disabilities. I went this path, because I love children-not for the riches. I shopped around and obtained the best deal for my education and yet, I still have in excess of $50,000 in student loans.
Now, for the big shocker – I am completely against the levy. My one and only reason is that the Ohio property tax funding system makes having an equitable system in Ohio impossible. Each and every student has the right to a "free" public education, yet Ohio clearly sets an example with this system that some students will get a better public education than other students.
I want my daughters to have the best public education, because I strongly believe in our school district, just not under the current funding system. I want SWCS to stand up against the state, instead of sitting on their hands using the levy as a band aid to fix open heart surgery. As well, our community should cease making absurd suggestions like teachers taking pay cuts in order to fund sports; instead, our community should be storming the state house lawn demanding change.
South-Western continues to teach me
As a 1986 graduate of Grove City High School, I am sorry to hear of the problems in the SWCS district. I did not realize, until recently, how many advantages I had then.
Until last spring, students were getting a bargain compared to other districts. Teachers’ salaries were lower and property taxes were lower. Now, with the potential loss of classes, those students face the possibility of getting less of an education than every other district in the state.
I realize there are many people who have reduced incomes or have lost their jobs due to the downturn in the economy. But the consequences of having a sub-standard education will go beyond the schools and into the community.
Misinformation is being distributed to citizens in the district. They are doing a disservice to themselves by not questioning the information of lack of information, especially on a serious issue with far-reaching consequences. They are allowed to call the school board and treasurer and request information. They have a right to the facts. The responsible thing to do is get it.
From all this, I am learning to be more informed and ask questions about the district in which I now live. I guess South-Western continues to teach me.