Letters to the editor

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269

Ask board about transportation woes

Sept. 2 was the first day of school for the Groveport Community School. As any parent with a Groveport Community School or an elementary student in Groveport Madison Schools knows, everyone was extremely late returning home from school Sept. 2. There were lost children, scared children, and plenty of irate parents with just cause. I want to set the record straight on whom the parents should really be upset with.

In August I stood at the Groveport Madison Board of Education meeting and asked the board why they didn’t let the public know how much control they have over bus routing and busing decisions. Of course, you as parents heard nothing. When something goes wrong with busing you are told to call the transportation department. We, as bus drivers, monitors, and Petermann employees, are here to serve Groveport Madison. We have a contract with the district to provide service, but your school board is responsible for the way routes are laid out, timings, and changes.

The district decided to get out of the busing business a few years ago saying it would save the taxpayers money by contracting a company to handle busing. Well, after what we experienced Sept. 2, they really should stay out of the transportation business. Blending the community school students with Groveport Madison’s elementary students then shuttling them to and from Groveport Community School is another way the board is trying to save tax dollars. They don’t think about the timing, the confusion, and the safety of so many students going from bus to bus. They bragged at the board meeting how the district has gone from 88 routes three years ago to 69 routes this year. Well, when we had 88 routes they were on three split sessions, last year we had 70 some routes because the community school had their own bus routes, now we are at 69 because of blending the community school kids with Groveport Madison kids.

The board can spend money to hire new attorney’s to fight the transportation contract, they can spend $2.2 million to purchase/lease buses, they took the person Petermann was paying as the router and made her a school employee paying her over $40,000 a year. There’s also the money spent to send school board members to classes to learn how to get along (which obviously hasn’t helped). The list could go on and on.

A parent said at the August board meeting that our students deserve  the best. She is in support of the upcoming levy. I, too, believe every child deserves the best, but I also believe this board needs to be accountable for their decisions and spending and they need to quit making others look bad for their poor decisions.

As a Petermann employee, I want to apologize for all the confusion and how late everyone was on Sept. 2. Please know this wasn’t our idea. We, too, were hot, tired, and had families and other obligations to get to, but we did our best to comfort each scared child, transport each child safely, try to figure out which stop each child belonged at, and to calm angry parents. We are here to serve you and answer your questions and concerns, but you also need to let your school board know how you feel and when the board dances around your concerns and put the blame on Petermann just remember when they point their finger at us, they are pointing four fingers back at themselves.

Jodi Oiler
Columbus

Auditor’s Web site shows levy’s cost to homeowners

 It is my opinion that voters in the Canal Winchester School District should do some research and see just how much the 8.9 mill levy will cost the homeowner.

What has been reported in the newspapers is how much it would cost the owner of a $100,000 house. I wonder just how many homes in Canal Winchester are worth a lot more than that.

For voters in Franklin County, the county auditor’s office has a web site you can go to, walk through the steps, and it will tell you the exact amount this 8.9 mill levy will cost you. I don’t know if Fairfield County has such a web site or not.

I am retired, living on a fixed income, and it will cost me an extra $36.13 a month…something I cannot afford with the cost of everything going sky high. I would be willing to guess that amount is close to what a majority of homeowners would have to pay also, some more, some maybe less.

I know how important good schools are.  I feel the funding problem goes back to the state in its failure to correct the problem the courts ruled against years ago.

Ed Price
Canal Winchester

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