Four times, the Ohio Supreme Court has found the school funding system in our state to be unconstitutional. Yet, absent any new remedy by the state legislature, school districts are forced to rely on the very mechanisms that traditionally have been met with the most resistance and uncertainty.

Clearly, property tax levies are not the long-term answer to school funding woes, but they are the reality today as our government has not provided an acceptable alternative.

In Woodridge, the last new levy was approved in 2004. Stretched for eight years now, those funds can no longer sustain the district.

In times like these, it would be easy to blame the schools and turn down requests for new funds.

To do so, however, would be to sacrifice opportunities for students at a time when competition for jobs requires that our students graduate with well-rounded experiences in diverse fields of study.

In our district, we have been able to trim $2.1 million dollars from the operational budget over the past two years.

Additional cuts now would reduce programs, eliminate opportunities and cripple our academics.

We know that we face a tough spring as we sit down with both of our unions to discuss successor contracts. The law requires that we address employment issues through collective bargaining.

As both contracts expire next summer, we will begin the process of bargaining this spring. We know what our community expects, and will work with our employee groups to find solutions.

There are those who publicly oppose our levy. I would suggest, however, that focusing on a local levy is not the way to change government spending.

Instead, I would ask that opponents of the levy join with us as we work through and with our legislature to find real solutions.

Working collaboratively with other school districts and communities across the state, we can create meaningful change together.

I urge a vote for Issue 5 to preserve the academic and co-curricular programs of the Woodridge Local School District.

Walter C. Davis

Superintendent

Woodridge Local Schools

Peninsula

Proud of ?the Girl Scouts

I was interested in reading Nancy Kist’s July 24 letter, “Questions for Scouts,” regarding the Boy Scouts of America’s policy regarding discrimination against gays and lesbians.

While I agree with most of her letter, I do take issue with her stating that “it makes me ashamed of my Brownie past.”

I was the director of fund distribution with the United Way of the Bay Area (California) in 1992, when its board of directors terminated funding to the local Boy Scout Council because of its exclusionary policies toward gay members and leaders.

Following this action, the Girl Scouts of America publicly stated that none of its programs, including the Brownies, discriminated against any Brownie, Scout or leader because of sexual orientation.

I must say that I was quite proud of my Brownie and Girl Scout past then — as I am now.

Debby Elliott

Twinsburg

New York State,?the following edge

Recently, I saw ads on television that promote the state of New York to businesses. “New York Works” was the slogan in those ads.

Akron promoted itself to businesses with the slogan “Akron Works” about 30 years ago.

To businesses: Come to Akron if you want to locate in a place on the leading edge.

Mike Hudkins

Cuyahoga Falls