Letter to the editor

I’m not sure there is a more important issue we face as a community than the one involving school funding and support.

We chose Canal Winchester as a place to live for its location, potential growth, and school system. We were told Canal was forward thinking regarding education. We were also told that, while the growth of the village was objectionable to some, the community would surely work amicably to address areas of concern that would accompany this growth, in particular when it came to the education of its children. This, it seems, is turning into a false belief.

I have heard many of the "reasons" citizens believe are valid for voting against school funding. State of the art buildings are not necessary. Teachers only work nine months of the year. All the extra programs are not needed. There is a disconnect between the community and school administrators and board members. Personal vendettas against certain teachers and administrators. And, of course, taxes.

In my view, facilities are the advertisement for a place on the move and concerned about the future. Teachers are actively engaged many more days and hours with students than that tired "nine months a year" mantra would have one believe. More than a few professions (state and federal employees perhaps?) spend just as much time off the job as today’s educator. As for additional programs that might not have been needed or mandated 10 to 15 years ago, any thinking person must know that societal changes have been so prolific that standing still would have meant losing ground.

I have empathy with community members who believe our taxes are prohibitively out of whack. Taking this frustration out on our school district is shortsighted. If I understand the numbers correctly,  the average household in Canal Winchester spends $60.56 a month on district general operating taxes. That should just about cover dinner and drinks for a family at BW 3’s. No, it is my thought that anger and vindictiveness should be directed in an unending torrent at our state representatives and governor. Whether you are liberal, conservative, or nothing at all, to support and put trust in individuals who prolong an unconstitutional system to finance our schools is appalling. Toss in the lottery commission and the OEA and you have a trifecta of culpability that is astonishing. State, gasoline, and federal tax rates are the problem, not what our schools are asking for locally.

My wife and I are believers in public schools. Our experiences in Canal Winchester with the educators we have met have been first rate. We are familiar with no teacher who is uncaring, undedicated, lazy, or just riding out the string till summer. Could our tax money be better spent? Probably. The water problem in Canal Winchester goes on and on. Decisions on funding allocations are misguided by personal agendas in every business. Without strong schools supported by a community willing to commit to  its children there is nothing of true substance in its fabric.

I have often said there is no place better than Canal Winchester in all of central Ohio. Not Dublin, Hilliard, Upper Arlington, or any where. But if our school system is not buttressed by united support, as property values plummet we shall eventually return to the 1950s, where, apparently, some would have us be.

Doug Welsh
Canal Winchester

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