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ONE Olentangy encourages voters to support school levy

Written by ONE Olentangy on .

ONE Olentangy’s goal is to inform the community in a proactive way about local issues that affect our school district. Based on our editorial board’s research on the facts, ONE Olentangy endorses Olentangy’s March 15 ballot issue and recommends voter approval.
 
The consequences of the district’s ballot issue failing are far reaching. The direct need is a fourth high school. The need for this school is projected to continue for at least the next half century. Our review of Facilities Committee reports and enrollment projections show us that the district has done its due diligence in assessing this building need now and in the future. Our anecdotal research causes us concern about student opportunities and safety. Without voter approval, the district will have to consider options to manage the high school enrollment growth in ways that minimize the negative impact on educational experiences as well as safety concerns.
 
A March 15 levy failure is expected to negatively impact the educational experience beyond the high schools, reaching all levels of education. Superintendent Mark Raiff has stated that a levy failure will result in choices needing to be made with regard to programs and services that exceed state mandates. Our research on the district’s cost-reduction measures, including staff reductions, energy cost savings and their self-insured workers’ compensation plan, show strong effort and success. And we applaud the administration, school board, teachers and staff for working together to rein in personnel costs, including costs associated with insurance benefits. 
 
Olentangy provides a great value, with a comparatively low cost per pupil (see cost per pupil article here) and now the highest Performance Index and state report card in Central Ohio (see our Performance article here). 
 
ONE Olentangy encourages voters to do their own research to learn exactly what their “Yes” vote would mean and a potential “No” vote would mean in terms of consequences to the educational value provided by our school district.

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