Stand up for Edison Local

To the editor:

The Edison Local School District has endured its share of difficulty since the 2004-05 school year. It was at that time the district was placed in fiscal watch. The district has continued to face tough financial times due to cuts in federal, state and local funding and failed levy attempts.

It is unfortunate that the state of Ohio has chosen to fund school districts, including Edison Local, by three primary funding sources. We receive state funding that amounts to approximately 51 percent of our budget. The other 49 percent of funding is generated by other local revenue and property taxes. The Edison Local School District has realized a loss of more than $2 million in permanent revenue during the last five years. Therefore, and once again, the state forces local school districts to replace that funding in the form of local tax levies. We have no choice in how we receive our funds, nor do we decide how much money our district receives to operate. The state views Edison Local as having a high property tax valuation. In the eyes of the state, we have the means to generate local funds to operate our district in the form of a property tax levy. Once again, this isn’t our choice, this is how school funding works in the state.

Although it did pass an emergency levy in 1999 for 2.1 mills, the Edison Local School District has not passed a levy for new money since 1977. No one can live nor operate in today’s society on the same amount of money as they did more than 35 years ago. We understand we live in an area of the state that is facing high unemployment due to job loss, closure of businesses and the lack of job opportunities. We also understand we live in a district that has a high population of elderly citizens and residents who own large amounts of farm land. Unfortunately, the state of Ohio doesn’t take any of this into consideration. They view our district as one that can generate local funds through the passage of a local property tax levy to operate. We understand the financial burden that this puts on the citizens of the Edison Local School District, but the state doesn’t take that into consideration when deciding on the amount of funding it provides to the district. The state bases its decision on property valuation and ability to generate funds locally, regardless of the economic state of the area in which the district is located.

The time has come to stop placing blame, pointing fingers and finding reasons to not vote for the levy. It is time to protect and preserve the Edison Local School District.

Bill Beattie

Superintendent

Edison Local School District