Edison voters should OK levy

Voters in the Edison Local School District have sent the district administrators back to the drawing board time and again with rejection of school levies. The district has responded by trimming expenditures by $3 million during the past two years.

The cuts have been dramatic and have included an end to bus service for the district high school. Buildings have been closed, employees laid off and teachers who have retired or left the district have not been replaced.

It’s all still impacting the education of students, whose only fault is living in the district during financially difficult times.

We again urge passage of the latest levy being sought, a 5.9-mill operating levy for five years.

It is not the levy that has been sought in the past, but the revenue situation the district faces is not changing.

The money coming into the district has dropped by $2.1 million since 2011, including money lost by the changes in the way power plants are taxed, reducing FirstEnergy Corp.’s payments to the district in property taxes by $700,000.

The state has changed its reimbursement program, accounting for another $470,000 of the $2.1 million, and federal stimulus funds have gone away, taking out another $949,000.

The district is changed forever, with programs that have been eliminated. The levy is for operation including buses, building maintenance, food services, salaries and wages and benefits, as well as utility bills.

The state has said Edison can raise more money through a levy, which sent the school district back to the voters. The state of Ohio has said it won’t provide extra funding from the state budget for operation of the district.

As has been the case with every levy in Edison, from the ones sought when more schools were in operation, the buses ran to the high school and more teachers were employed, until now, voters have the choice.

They can look at what has been lost, but they also can consider the expenses that have been cut and make it possible to continue operating.

We urge passage of the levy Nov. 5 to allow Edison to gain breathing room through 2018.