The signs are in the front yards all around Cleveland Heights and University Heights for and against the school levy. The anti-levy signs make clear that they want to keep the Heights affordable. Signs in favor of the levy don’t have any catchy phrase like that of the anti-levy signs. But they shouldn’t need to.
One may think that families of private school students may not benefit from funding for public schools. But that person would be wrong. The district covers school transportation for all students, including those of private schools. It also covers administrative costs for EdChoice students across the district.
Many families from our own community have benefitted directly from the CH-UH schools. Our daughter has spent most of her school years in the CH-UH schools because of her special needs. The teachers have all been wonderful. They have all gone the extra ten miles to give her an education that will last a lifetime. She will continue in the CH-UH system until there is a program for special needs kids in the Jewish schools. If or when that happens, I will still support the levy. I will express my gratitude to the CH-UH district for the many years of superb education.
We should be concerned for quality education for all students. We should be as concerned for the school district as much as public school families are. Good public schools keep a community together. It makes the community appealing to families who want to move here. It will make our housing appreciate, and it will boost the local economy.
As citizens in the school district, we should acknowledge that the district is having difficulties for many reasons. The way schools are graded by the state sets the public schools up for failure. The state grading system does not account for important student experiences and teacher expertise. Grading schools based strictly on student grades and test scores completely misses the point of quality education. If the state assembly does not pass recommended legislation, the number of schools noted as failing will go up from 500 to over 1,200 in the next state report card. That will be an extra burden on the school district.
The Ohio Supreme Court has found state funding for Ohio’s public schools to be unlawful, according to Ohio’s constitution, four times since 1997. Despite years of effort, corrective legislation still dawdles.
All citizens of all districts, whether their students go to public schools or not, should be concerned for the welfare and education of all its student population. When public schools deteriorate, the district loses population, and that brings housing values down, which then affects the local economy. The kids suffer the most. A good education, an education that teaches the unquantifiable skills as well as the hard skills, lasts a lifetime. And that makes better citizens for tomorrow. That benefits everyone.
I urge all to vote Yes on Issue 26.