State budget decisions severely harming communities

When the governor and legislature passed the buck on balancing the state's budget, the effects rippled down through hundreds of schools districts, districts like Dublin city schools.

Dublin city schools are excellent with distinction. You don't get any better than that. Now being threatened by the reckless budget, this school district is scheduled to lose $10.9-million of state funding over the next two years. Like so many other districts, Dublin has to choose between damaging cuts, or asking the community for their continued support.

Two central Ohio school districts gave glimpses last night of what might be cut if their tax issues on the November ballot fail.

Potential cuts in Dublin schools include “well over 100 teachers,” among other jobs, Superintendent David Axner said at the district’s Board of Education meeting.
Those cuts would vary depending on whether board members decided to dip into reserve funds. The plan that officials presented last night assumes the board would use about half of the $15 million reserve. But the district still would eliminate about 150 jobs, limit transportation and reduce elective classes.

Although officials haven’t decided on exact numbers, they would eliminate more than 100 teaching jobs from all grade levels, Axner said.

High-school students, who now choose from six foreign languages, would have fewer options. Bus routes would have fewer pickup areas, Deputy Superintendent Mike Trego said. Class sizes would increase.

Not only would an excellent school district be harmed if this levy fails, but at a time when the governor is talking about creating jobs, thousands of quality, important jobs are being lost in school districts like Dublin all over the state.

The budget that passed is now having a three pronged negative effect on the quality of Ohio as a place to live, work and study.

1. It is hurting our future by making it harder to educate our state's children. Less teachers, greater class sizes, less academic choice, less extra curricula activities. Students don't get a second bite at their childhood education.

2. It is hurting our economy. At a time when job creation is hard to come by, we have purposefully decided to destroy thousands of quality jobs that help fuel local economies.

3. Passing the buck to the local level causes either cuts in school quality which adversely affects property values, or causes increases in local taxes to help offset the reckless budget cuts made by the state.

The legislature didn't need to make these choices, other options were open to them, it's hard to imagine a more damaging policy choice than the one that was made.

ps. If you live in the Dublin city school district, vote yes on issue 15.