Can the system ever change?
by Patti Cleary
On behalf of the Board of Education and staff members of Barberton City Schools, I wish to sincerely thank the voters of Barberton for supporting Issue # 3 on May 7th. Your actions will ensure that children will continue to have full day kindergarten as well as the excellent programs that now exist in art, music, foreign language and athletics. We will also be able to restore busing to students who live more than one mile from school K-8. The schools pledge to continue our practice of fiscal responsibility.
Public education in Ohio has fallen on hard times. I have always been hopeful that the State of Ohio would change the way public schools are funded. The Ohio Supreme Court has decided on four different occasions that school funding in Ohio is unconstitutional, however when I hear our elected officials in Columbus speak, I don’t hold out much hope that things will ever improve in any substantial way.
Our state government finds it more convenient to pass the taxing obligations to local property owners. After all, if they raise any taxes on the State level, they may lose the next election! How sad that there is not a long-term vision for Ohio. Education, both K-12 and higher ed, is an investment that will not see immediate impact, but will have lasting effects on the state’s productivity and residents’ quality of life.
What can we, as individual tax payers do? Are we powerless? The only way we can make a difference is to keep current with decisions our State officials make, particularly regarding the school funding budget. Do their actions represent your views? If not, let them know! We can contact our elected officials via letters, emails, and our votes at the polls.
Thank you, Barberton, for taking care of Barberton. The schools will work tirelessly to continue to earn your trust and support. You make me proud to be the superintendent of a school district that values its youngest generation and the future of its community.