To the Editor: Anti-levy mailing left out key facts
Written by Steven W. Knape   
Thursday, 25 April 2013 09:47
The recent mailing from "Citizens for Financial Responsibility" designed to convince voters of the Bowling Green School District to vote no on the upcoming levy leaves out important facts.
They point out that the 6.75 mill levy raises taxes over $400 a year on a $200,000 home.  That's true, but not applicable to most folks. The average home value in the district is right around $131,000.  That's about $309 a year. That breaks down to eighty-five cents a day. Surely a continued tradition of high-quality education for our kids is worth that?
They shamefully attack and insult our teachers, misstating a teacher's work week. 7:40-3:20? Try 7:30-4:30+.  In fact, I usually see teachers still working when I arrive for evening PTO meetings. Furthermore, my daughter's classroom is filled with books, supplies, incentives, etc., all paid for by her teacher. Teachers are responsible for their own continuing education, mandated by state guidelines to keep up their certification. They fault teachers for 8 hours of preparation time each week. My attorney and accountant are both paid for time they spend preparing their services, as well as the time they spend face to face with me, and at a considerably higher rate than my daughter's teacher.  Both are honorable professions, but I consider teaching to be more beneficial to the common good.
Finally, they pointed out that our district was downgraded from "Excellent with Distinction" to just "Excellent" this past year. "With distinction" is an add-on.  It means that an excellent district, scoring 94-100% in performance indicators, exceeded Adequate Yearly Progress for the year.  BG met 26 of the 26 indicators, but did not exceed its AYP, so received an "Excellent" rating. Check the ODE website. Districts meeting fewer indicators than BG received an "Excellent with Distinction" rating. These ratings will be replaced by letter grades beginning in 2014-15.  Under that system, we would have an "A" rating, the same as Perrysburg and Eastwood.
The "Citizens" advocate for school "reform" because we need great schools. Hogwash. In Bowling Green we already have great schools, dedicated, high-quality faculty, and caring, capable administrators.
Voting yes on the school levy on May 7 will ensure that we continue in that tradition. And rather than hiding behind the title of some committee, I believe in this strongly enough to sign my name.
Steven W. Knape
Bowling Green

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