To the editor:
I am writing to ask you to consider voting no on this November’s Oberlin school bond Issue. Before I share my reasons, let me introduce myself. I am a retired educator with 38 years of service as an Ohio teacher and administrator. I have never voted against a school levy or bond issue but feel this issue needs to be defeated.
My reasons are as follows.
First: Old buildings are not obsolete buildings. Langston was well built and can be retrofitted for today’s needs. Yes, this costs money and would require a bond issue but a smaller one than the current one, which calls for the abandonment of three buildings.
Second: As mentioned in the circulated levy information, retired school buildings must first be offered to charter schools free of charge. If a charter school opts for Langston, Prospect, or Eastwood, then some of the current students will choose the new, local charter school over the Oberlin Public Schools. In this case, the enrollment would drop below the current level of 985 students and, by law, district funds would be transferred to the charter school for each student who transferred there.
Third: None of these new dollars can go to the 78 teachers or to fund additional staff since it is a bond issue for buildings only. Quality teachers earning competitive salaries are the most important resources of any district. Second are the books, supplies, and technology. Buildings are third in importance.
In conclusion, vote no to preserve Langston, a historic and valuable building. Vote no to support a quality education for our students in a fiscally responsible manner.