Temporary fixes can be costly

To the editor:

Many people are aware of the closing of Wayne Elementary but, unfortunately, many people seem to think that it does not affect them. The truth is the closing of a school will affect they entire district. Many voters seem to think that their vote matters, and the sad truth is it will not matter what you vote on the upcoming renewal levy.

In 1993, the Indian Creek school board voted to close Mingo High School. Since that vote to close the school not one levy has passed in that area. It is clear and a proven fact how closing a school disengages an area to their district.

I am a proud graduate of MHS and I remember sitting in John Angelica’s class as he explained the importance of going over the past in history so we never make the same mistakes again. This seems to be a valuable lesson our Indian Creek school board has not learned.

The truth is the Indian Creek board is essentially saying we could care less about how people vote and we don’t care what areas feel alienated. I say this because when the Indian Creek renewal goes on the ballot, if homeowners vote not to renew the levy and essentially say they want to lower their taxes, they will not see lower taxes because Ohio has a 20-mill floor for all school districts. If the renewal does not pass we will fall below the 20-mill floor and be taxed to bring us back up to it without any vote. When bringing this point up at school board meetings I was continually told “your taxes won’t go up” – if I am voting “no” that means I want to lower my taxes, not pay the same.

If this district closes Wayne Elementary, our district will be at 96 percent of capacity. Why this number is important is because state funding only increases when a district grows. We cannot grow if we are at 96 percent, which will eliminate increases in state funding for our future. If we cannot pass a levy because of two alienated areas and we cannot get more state funding because we’ve made it impossible to pass the state formula to increase our district’s budgets, we will forever be paying the same or more in taxes to have a school running on the bare minimum allowed by the state. Each year we will sink further and cut more and more programs.

Ask the Indian Creek board the important questions on how it plans to support this district if it eliminates all chances of increased revenue because of reckless decisions that will only jeopardize our district’s future. Ask to see how closing a school that cost around $70,000 a year to maintain will make up for the renewals of a 7.9-mill operating levy that will get voted down because too many areas in our district are disgruntled by the board’s temporary fixes that do not fix any real financial problems.

Jacquelyn Albaugh-Carpenter