2010-10-23 / Editorials & Letters

More support for Lakewood levy

Editor:

While I am not eager to pay more taxes, I do support the Lakewood Levy.

The current budget problem relates directly to Ohio’s failed education funding system. The Ohio Constitution requires the General Assembly to provide and fund “a thorough and efficient system of common schools throughout the state.”

Just look at the varying school districts in Licking County and decide for yourself if the system is “efficient” and the schools “common”. In 1997, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that Ohio’s school funding system is unconstitutional, and specifically ordered the state to change the “over reliance” on local property taxes. The state has tinkered with funding formulas since 1997, but the funding system is still essentially the same.

The system places the burden for school funding on the local taxpayer. This can cause a vicious downward spiral. A financially troubled community may decide it can’t afford to pay for good schools. Then, lack of a good education leads to unprepared graduates or dropouts who add to the financial problems of the community. Thus, the problem compounds itself and recovery can be nearly impossible.

Long-term, the State of Ohio needs to rethink how it funds education. But short-term, it’s up to us to decide as a community if we want to continue to have excellent schools. It’s not fair or right, but that’s the way it is. The State of Ohio is not going to help; their budget is upside down by $8 billion dollars. Please vote to continue Lakewood’s excellence.
Gregg Graham
Franklin Township

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