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Edison levy needs support

January 12, 2014
Weirton Daily Times

To the editor:

The Edison Local Board of Education and administration has decided to put a five-year, 5.9-mill operating levy back on the ballot on May 6.

The current board of education and administration can't control what has happened in the past, only what we are currently doing and what we can do moving forward. We have taken many steps to ensure fiscal responsibility and stay out of state control. The district has cut $7 million dollars in expenditures since the 2004-2005 school year. These cuts include the reduction of 71 teachers, 41 support staff and three administrators. More recently, since the 2010-2011 school year we have reduced the number of employees by 46 - a reduction of 26 teaching positions, the lay-off of 17 support staff and eliminating three administrative positions. As the district continues to lose funding, not pass levies and lose students, it is reducing its expenditures to ensure it doesn't have deficit spending.

The most recent decision to cut high school busing was one that was deliberated for months, understanding the negative affect it would have on the district. These decisions have created a loss of students to other districts, put students on roads on a daily basis in cars to and from school and resulted in busses that are not filled to capacity. Although a majority of the buses are not filled to capacity, the decision was made that if all high school students couldn't be bused then none would be bused, even though the buses traveled on the same routes or picked up a sibling at the same house. We realize a majority of the community may not understand this, but the decision to cut high school busing was based on fairness and was the result of financial hardship, continued failed levy attempts and the desire to avoid state control.

The district has been forced to make a lot of difficult decisions in the last three years, cutting busing, closing another building, reducing staff and implementing pay-to-participate and consumable fees. These difficult, unpopular decisions will allow us to operate with a balance through the 2014-2015 school year before more difficult decisions have to be made, if we don't increase our local tax revenue or receive more funding from the state of Ohio.

We understand that we are facing an uphill battle in trying to pass a property tax levy due to a variety of reasons which can't be listed in this editorial. This unfortunately is how school districts have to operate in our state. We also know there are numerous supporters of the Edison Local School District. We hope that "all" supporters will get out and show their support for our most valuable asset, our children and their future.

Bill Beattie

Superintendent

Edison Local School District

 
 

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