To the editor:
The residents of the Edison Local School District have the power on Election Day to make sure their school district remains open to provide excellent education opportunities.
Issue 7, a 9.45-mill operating levy, will be used to maintain Edison's excellent academic reputation so that it continues as one of the most affordable education systems offered in Jefferson County. Voting for the levy allows Edison to have a future. Voters simply need to agree that Edison and the Edison communities need the school doors to stay open. With doors open, voters maintain their right to play an active role in improving education and improving the decisions made about education. Voting 'yes' allows any resident to have a voice in their school system and to get involved. If the voters do not help the school district, then the school district will be forced by the state to make decisions that will not be positive for our community, let alone be what is best for the students who occupy the classrooms. The trickle-down effect of a dwindling school system impacts area business and community stability.
Without the levy, the district faces a deficit and the state will put the school district into fiscal watch. If the plan developed to climb out of the deficit is not sustainable, the state will put the district into financial emergency. At that point, the state will tell Edison what to do. Voters, residents, staff, parents - everyone will lose all say-so in the matter. These decisions will be based on quantitative data (numbers only) and will be money-saving decisions only, not decisions that are the soundest educational decisions for students (our future voters and residents) or for our communities. The state does not care about local traditions, 50 students in a classroom, extracurricular opportunities, the best and most inspirational teachers, the amount of time students spend on the bus or preserving what school buildings remain. If residents choose not to take care of their school district, the state will decide the fate of Edison for you. Edison can look forward to more local consolidation or even becoming absorbed by a neighboring school district, which will result in all residents paying much higher taxes without a vote at the poll.
The current administration works hard to continually improve communication, balance the budget and build rigorous academics and extracurricular opportunities. (If you aren't satisfied, then get involved.) A multitude of teacher positions have been absorbed through retirements, bus routes have been eliminated and several other financial cuts have been made on behalf of the Edison communities. Despite these measures, despite the valuable partnerships that have been formed with Apex and Wal-Mart, it is not enough. Now is time for the community to do the right thing for Edison. Voting "yes" on Issue 7 is a vote toward preserving your community, your schools and the children who count on you.