To the editor:
The Ohio School Boards Association strongly encourages Buckeye Local School District residents to vote "yes" on issue 6 on May 7.
The five-year, 2.1-mill emergency safety levy will give the district the resources it needs to provide an environment that will keep its children, staff and communities safe.
School shootings and violence have become a tragic part of American culture. That means it is important that schools have proper safety, security and prevention strategies in place.
From a safety perspective, the Buckeye Local school system needs an overhaul from the inside out. This levy will provide a school resource officer for each of the district's buildings. School resource officers have proven to be a valuable asset for schools, because they can build a rapport with students that helps identify and solve problems before they lead to disruptive behavior and violence. In addition, the officers serve as a visible deterrent to outsiders seeking to do harm and create a sense of safety and security among students and staff.
The levy also will provide for building security upgrades, such as alarm and camera systems, as well as communication devices and camera surveillance systems for school buses. And, it will allow teachers to take advantage of professional development opportunities to enable them to learn the latest prevention strategies and enhance student safety.
Buckeye Local has been a solid steward of taxpayer funds and will continue to be so with this levy. Since the average home value in the district is $70,000, the average homeowner would pay just 12.6 cents a day. For the district's many elderly and disabled residents, the cost would be even lower thanks to the state homestead exemption, which allows them to shield $25,000 of the market value of their homes from property taxes.
No child or adult should ever be afraid to go to school or work. Children need a safe environment in order to learn, succeed and reach their fullest potential. That's why passing this levy to make the schools safer and more secure is essential.
OSBA strongly urges Buckeye Local citizens to vote for issue 6, their district's emergency safety levy.
Deputy executive director
Ohio School Boards