2010-10-23 / Editorials & Letters

Writer responds to anti-levy letter

Editor:

Last week’s letter from Dave Kenmir of Thornville on the Lakewood Local School District levy (“Writer says your vote will force reform”) contained too many errors to rebut in 250 words. However, I will attempt to clarify as many errors as possible by using as few words as possible.

* Federal aid: I assume Mr. Kenmir means the $361 million awarded to Ohio through the federal Race to the Top program. This money is going straight to the classroom; it is illegal for it to go to a teachers union. Unions will not be able to donate this money to any re-election campaign.

* State taxes: In my professional life, I was involved in both the enactment and implementation House Bill 66. This bill mainly cut taxes – the largest tax cut Ohio has seen in 70 years. Taxpayers are now saving $2.1 billion each year as a result of this legislation.

* Teacher pay: The writer claimed district pay has not been frozen. Not true. All employees, from the Superintendent on down, have received pay freezes for the last two school years.

* Federal taxes: Virtually all members of Congress want to maintain tax cuts for middle-class families. The only debate is whether to extend them for the very wealthiest Americans. This is an important debate, but it has almost nothing to do with Lakewood schools.

* Extra Credit: Extra credit is a long standing practice of many teachers. Having two children attend Lakewood schools I find it difficult, if not impossible, to believe that students were “docked” if they did do extra credit. If Mr. Kenmir feels this is happening he should provide any information he has to district administrators. If he has no proof, his unfounded accusations should stop.

I support the Lakewood levy because I believe our kids deserve more than the bare minimum when it comes to education. Most of us understand our kids are competing with students from around the country to get into college or getting jobs.

If this levy succeeds, our community succeeds, too. Without a good school district, home values will decrease. Failure to pass this levy on Nov. 2 would undoubtedly depress our home values – just as it would lower our kids’ chance of success in the years ahead.
Rick Anthony
Union Township

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