To the editor:
Conleth and I chose to move to Oberlin in 2008 because it is a place that honors individual differences and other voices in our civic discourse. We wanted our four young children to experience these values operating in their own community as they developed their own identities. Three of our children have graduated from Oberlin High School as of 2016. Our fourth child attended Oberlin schools prekindergarten through fifth grade. He has attended Lake Ridge Academy for the past two years on a partial scholarship based on need. He is challenged at Lake Ridge to take charge of his own learning in ways that he can best learn. My wife and I support his decision to accept this challenge while we also continue to invest our time and energy to improve access to educational opportunities for all Oberlin students.
School districts are local public institutions created to ensure all of the children who reside within their jurisdiction can access quality education. The district’s transportation program must provide safe and reliable transportation to and from any educational facilities within a 30 minute ride one way as prescribed by law. The logistics of transporting students to the schools of their choice is challenging for a small school district as Oberlin. The state education department contributes additional financial support to provide transportation to schools outside of the district.
I have great respect for Oberlin’s current school board members who have listened to other voices in their effort to be good stewards of Oberlin’s educational enterprise. We all need to follow their example in seeking solutions that support the educational aspirations and choices of all Oberlin students. Our community’s commitment to honor our children’s educational differences is our guide in our deliberations.