The Coventry school district has voluntarily participated in open enrollment for many years, even though it has ultimately destroyed our schools due to the state’s underfunding of the program.
Open enrollment allows students to attend the school of their choice tuition free, subject to certain rules and guidelines.
State funding follows the students to their new district, but the local property tax revenues do not.
State funding is determined by a sophisticated process, a formula. Because open enrollment students come from various neighboring school districts, the state-transferred revenue per pupil varies extensively.
In Coventry, the total expenditure to educate a student is almost twice the amount of open-enrollment funding and amounts to millions of dollars per year.
This underfunding creates a heavy and unsustainable drain on the district’s general fund. The ensuing financial crisis results in no money for building maintenance and repairs, teacher salaries, school programs, busing and sports.
To compensate, the school board continues to place school levies on the ballot, and then is dismayed when they fail. The most recent is the levy and bond issue to build a new high school and improve the other school buildings.
This issue has been voted down twice, and yet is back on the ballot for a third time, on the May 7 ballot. What part of “no” does the board not understand?
With all of this, the school board continues to extol the benefits of open enrollment and perpetuates a growing distrust between the property owners and the school board.
This distrust is generated by the school board’s callous and arrogant disregard for the property owner’s plight, as they continually put more and more levies on the ballot, all of which are to finance open enrollment, in one form or another.
All voters must vote against all school levies and bond issues. We must put an end to the insanity. Then we must remove from office all school board members who have created and perpetuated this financial crisis. Only then can we restore Coventry schools and give them back to Coventry students.
Politics of the personal
A few weeks ago, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman did an admirable thing: He came out publicly in favor of gay marriage rights. He was going against the sentiment of his own party in doing so.
The reason for this Republican senator’s change of heart on the issue of gay rights was personal. He has a gay son, and believes that his son should be afforded the same rights as all American citizens, regardless of sexual orientation.
A few days ago, Portman did a despicable thing: He voted against legislation aimed at establishing universal background checks for those wanting to purchase firearms, even as parents and relatives of the children slaughtered in Newtown, Conn., begged him to support the legislation.
This leads to an unavoidable question: Can we assume that, had Portman’s gay son been the victim of a madman wielding an AR-15, he would have voted in favor of the legislation favored so strongly by the families who were victimized by a madman wielding an AR-15?
While I greatly admire the senator’s courage in bucking his Luddite Republican cohorts on the issue of gay rights, I am appalled by his inexplicable lack of courage in behalf of gun violence victims.
I will join those who share my disgust in seeing that Portman has a one-term career in the U.S. Senate.
Rare gift in a library
I have lived all over the United States, so I do not take for granted the lifestyle of living in a small town in Ohio. Canal Fulton is one of those towns, in the center a jewel called Canal Fulton Public Library.
We use this library every day, borrowing books both paper and electronic. It was once a private residence, but expanded over the years to become a full-service library.
It is a rare gift provided to us by the employees and the many volunteers. The library is a gathering place. There are lectures and presentations by authors and other events of interest. Each time I visit the library, I am impressed by how well used it is by people of all ages.
Our own money is a very personal thing. We want control over how it is spent and we want to see that it is spent well. That is why we are voting for the library levy and that is why we believe the levy will pass.
A forgotten slaughter
Earlier this month, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu in Istanbul. Davutoglu suggested that it would take time for Turkey to have normal ties with Israel. “There is an offense that has been committed and there needs to be accountability,” he said.
Unfortunately, Kerry did not remind Turkey of the great offense committed against the Christian-Armenians, the slaughter of over 1.5 million men, women and children starting in April 1915.
Turkey gets billions in military aid from the U.S., yet no one challenges it to acknowledge the Armenian genocide. President Obama stated prior to his election that he would push for legislation about the genocide and ask Turkey to take responsibility. Once elected, he quickly forgot his promise.
Now we see the new Muslim Brotherhood leader in Egypt standing by while Christians are being killed, yet Kerry delivers billions in military aid to another extremist leader. In Syria, our country supports the extremists trying to overthrow the government. The rebels have invaded the Christian areas in and around Aleppo, killing hundreds of Armenians and Christians. What does our government think will happen if the extremists win?
April 24th is the anniversary of the Armenian genocide. I suggest Kerry and Obama get a history lesson in Christian martyrdom before they give any more money to Turkey, Egypt or Syria.