To the editor:
Please join us in voting no on Issue 11 for these reasons:
Our cost: Oberlin taxes are already high. Property taxes are average but Oberlin’s 2 percent school income tax is tied for the highest in the state. Even without the school levy, property taxes will increase substantially in Oberlin in 2019 due to a reassessment of our property values by the county. A 2016 study done by the city shows that Oberlin is becoming a less economically and racially diverse community as it becomes a more expensive place to live, leading to a more gentrified and aging community.
Our district: Many feel the school district has not spent our money wisely. Top-heavy administration, low state report card grades, and lack of building upkeep are key concerns. In addition, with student enrollment decreasing and predicted to decline further, we may soon be too small to remain independent without merging with other school districts. New buildings do not mean better education. A new building will also not alter our existing problems with discipline and academics that cause so many to leave the district.
The future: In the age of technology, brick and mortar buildings are likely to play less of a role in education. It is also not sustainable to build and knock down buildings every 50 years. The greenest buildings are those already built.
Consolidation and renovation have not been adequately explored. Other districts have provided personalized, cost-effective renovations without placing an undue burden on the taxpayer. Please join us in voting no on Issue 11, so the district will consider options that better meet the needs of our community.