Letters to the Editor

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(Posted April 17, 2014)

OSBA calls for MP levy support

The Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) strongly encourages residents to vote for the Madison-Plains Local School District’s 8-mill renewal levy on May 6. This levy will help ensure the district has the funds needed to maintain financial stability. The ballot measure will not require any additional tax dollars from residents because it is a renewal levy.

Public education is the foundation of a community, preparing students for success in college, careers and lifelong learning. Madison-Plains and school districts across Ohio are working hard to maintain the high-quality instruction and services residents have come to expect during a time of dwindling resources, ever-increasing man-dates and challenging economic conditions.

Madison-Plains has strived to be a responsible steward of taxpayer dollars while maintaining an emphasis on student achievement. The district has not increased taxes since 2005. To stay within its budget and cope with risings costs, Madison-Plains has reduced staff, consolidated buildings and taken efforts to reduce insurance costs. The district’s 10-year financial plan also includes a strategy to cut costs by more than $8 million over the next decade.

It’s important to note that while voters renewed a 2.5-mill permanent improvement levy in November 2013, those dollars, by state law, can only be used for school district facilities, materials and equipment. This renewal levy, which generates $1.5 million per year for the district and roughly 11 percent of its revenue, will go toward Madison-Plains’ critical, day-to-day operating expenses. It costs property owners $46.57 a month per $100,000 of property value, a rate that will remain the same if the ballot issue is approved.

This renewal levy will allow Madison-Plains to focus on what it does best: helping students succeed. Residents should be proud to know that Madison-Plains’ graduation rate is 93.1 percent, considerably higher than the state average. Those graduates are making a difference in your community.

By voting for this levy, you are helping maintain educational excellence and ensuring a bright future for children in your community. That’s why on May 6, OSBA urges residents to vote for the Madison-Plains’ renewal levy. It is a wise and much-needed investment in your schools and community.

Rob Delane, deputy executive director

Ohio School Boards Association

Columbus

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Vote ‘yes’ on JA income tax levy

The success of our country has been largely based on the success of our system of public education.

We have reaped wonderful benefits of advanced technology, state of the art communications, exceptional healthcare and remarkable transportation as a result of our education system being the most advanced in the world. However, today our country’s educational ranking is slipping. In the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development 2010 report, the United States ranks 31st out of the industrialized nations in terms of mathematics and 17th in reading comprehension.

We are blessed at Jonathan Alder to have a community that cares about its children and values public education. Our school system has received “Excellent with Distinction” five out of the last six years on the State Report Card. Our high school seniors receive in excess of $1.5 million in college scholarships on an annual basis. Our extracurricular and sports programs are the envy of many communities. Most importantly, our school staff are top notch. Jonathan Alder schools have worked diligently to provide an excellent education while managing tax dollars wisely.

Few people know that Jonathan Alder ranks in the bottom 15 percent in the state in per-pupil expenditures or that our revenues from the state are the same as in 2007 despite an increase of almost 300 students.

Jonathan Alder needs your support to continue providing our students with a quality education. We are asking you to invest in Jonathan Alder students by voting “yes” on May 6 for our tax increase.

We understand that no one likes taxes, but investing in our community’s children is a wise investment that benefits the entire community. A community that invests in children has higher property values, stronger families and reduced crime rates. We are asking you to support a 0.5 percent income tax increase to strengthen Jonathan Alder.

This additional revenue will allow us to offer more courses that prepare our students for tomorrow’s jobs, enhance early learning, update technology and improve intervention services. Your investment in our students gives them the foundation needed to be successful in their chosen career.

Our children need your support today more than ever. Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.” Please help lay the foundation for our children’s future and vote “yes” on May 6.

Steve Votaw, president

Jonathan Alder Board of Education

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4-Hers seek help with cat shelters

The Canaan Pathfinders 4-H Club is trying to improve the lives of homeless cats. Our goal is to make sure that there is a minimum of 50 new shelters for homeless and neglected cats and to educate area residents about TNR (trap, neuter, release). We are using inexpensive supplies to create portable shelters to protect these cats from the elements.

We challenge area residents and other 4-H clubs to help us reach our goal. Each shelter will cost about $12.50. We ask that participants build two shelters or purchase and donate the supplies to us.

These shelters are simple to make. They use an 18-gallon tote with lid, a Styrofoam cooler, duct tape, insulating materials and bedding. Completed shelters will be placed during warm weather so that cats can become accustomed to their locations.

Contact Canaan Pathfinders at (740) 857-1417 to arrange pick-up of the shelters or supplies. The more shelters we can pro-vide, the more homeless cats we can help. Please, let us know if you are aware of a location that is in need of these shelters.

Join us in helping these unfortunate animals. 4-H clubs meeting or exceeding our challenge will receive recognition on our shelter board and a certificate.

Canaan Pathfinders 4-H Club

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