Letters to the editor
Stop penalizing workers
Please, please, please...stop penalizing the American worker!
If we must increase revenue for necessary services, implement a tax on spending - not earnings.
Across the board, a sales tax is much more fair than an income tax. In this way, all of us share the load based on what we choose to spend or not spend. It goes without saying that those who have more will spend more and those who can least afford it will probably choose to spend less. In either case, the choice is ours not the government's.
Again, if we must increase revenue for necessary services, implement a tax on spending - not earnings.
My heart is breaking
My heart is breaking tonight for my two children still at home. What we stand to lose in South-Western school district is so much more than what most people think. Not only did the children lose, the community lost a lot as well. We lost the support that we so desperately need to have a successful school community.
While the voting was being counted my husband was with our freshman daughter at her last home track meet of the year and I was with our son who was being inducted into the National Junior Honor Society as a seventh grader. Not only are my children in many extracurricular activities, they are all honor students as well.
Their sister is one of the lucky ones, she graduated from Westland High School last year. She was an honor student, ranked 23 in a class of 330. She participated in National Honor Society, WISE, prom committee, girls tennis team and was a thrower on the track and field team. Many of clubs and athletics she participated in got her noticed by many different colleges. She was able to go to Marshall University on an academic and athletic scholarship. There is no child more proud of being a Westland graduate than she is. Now, my other two who are just starting to compete at middle school and high school level will not have the opportunities that were available to their sister. How unfair for them and others who are is the same position?
People have said its the economy. Yes, I am sure that is a factor. My husband has not worked a 40 hour week at his job since before Christmas and I have not had a raise in over eight years because of the cuts made to library funding. So we are living within our means and have been for along time now. My husband is looking at 17 days without pay over the next two and a half months. We will survive. But will the children? Cut busing, do you want your child to cross Broad Street to walk to school? Drop athletes, band etc., do you want you child running around with their friends trying to find something to do? What about the teachers we will lose, schools that will close?
What price do you put on education? There is not a price for a good education. No matter how bad things seem to be, education and all that goes with it is what gives us the leaders of tomorrow. How can they be leaders when all they need to be successful is not offered? How can they be well-rounded adults if the adults they trusted to do right thing failed them?
I do hope that those who voted no had a good reason for doing so; we felt that there wasn't any other decision but to vote yes. Our three children and their educational future are worth way more than the amount we would have had to pay in taxes. If that means no pizza, movies, vacations then so be it. Being a parent means you sacrifice so that your children have more and better than what you had. Remember this, someone passed a levy for you at some point in your school years.
Bobby and Jane Barnhart
District still fails to understand
I think levy supporters are failing to understand a basic reason behind the levy's failure - many of this district's residents (apparently the majority) can't afford more taxes.
It doesn't matter how much we care about the schools or the kids. If we don't have the money, we don't have it. All the begging, crying, threatening, and removing programs isn't going to change anyone's financial situation.
I voted no for the levy because the tax increase would have forced me out of my home. When I moved into the district, I had a good paying job. After a job loss, an accident that wasn't my fault, and a year's loss of income, I have to make hard choices. The basics come first now. The bottom line is paying the mortgage and eating are more important to me than kids playing school sports and having fun things to do after school.
While basic education is essential, the truth is sports, clubs, and extracurricular activities are all non-essential. The focus in any school district needs to be education first.
I hope these kids never have to make decisions like many of us have had to make in the past months or years just to make ends meet. I've cut my budget to the bare bones and reprioritized to save what was really important. South-Western must now do the same.
Reconsider your vote
Education is, and always will be, the top priority of schools, and by no way am I saying extracurricular activities are more important.
However, sports and other extracurricular activities are the backbone of school and community camaraderie. South-Western City Schools has always had competitive sports programs, and it is those Friday nights, whether it is football or basketball season, that bring a community closer. It is those beautiful Thursday afternoons spent watching a baseball or softball team play that brings the community closer.
Have you ever noticed when a team or group is doing really well in a community that everyone gathers around them to support them? Extracurricular activities are a necessity not only for people to take pride in their community, but also to guide and build young adolescence into young men and women. Sports taught me a lot about life; from hard work and dedication to team work and accepting others. I am not saying these things cannot be learned elsewhere, but exposure a school sponsored group brings to adolescence is priceless.
Extracurricular activities keep kids safe, out of trouble, and in shape, mentally and physically. Beyond the physical aspect of sports and other groups, students are constantly thinking and learning many life skills, such as communication and determination. Many school sponsored groups have a minimum GPA requirement, and students strive to reach that GPA in order to participate. Sports, band, choir, etc. keep kids in school and off the streets. To abandon these kids and give them nowhere to go is not right. Think about what you are doing.
For those of you who voted to rid the children of your community an opportunity to experience life through various activities; Why? As you were a child did you not play sports, did you not act, did you not sing, did you not play an instrument? You are taking that opportunity away from these children, and at what cost? To save a little extra money when it comes time to pay property taxes. Really? Have you stopped to think about who paid for your activities? Who paid for your children's activities? And for some of you, now no one is going to pay for your grandchildren's activities.
I urge you to reconsider how you voted. I hope not only for current student's sake, but for the future generation's sake as well, that you have a revelation. Disallowing these students this opportunity is selfish and unreasonable. I have always dreamed of the day I would allow my kids to be a part of the South-Western City Schools family, and as of now, because of this levy, I am sure they never will.
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