I read every word of your education series and found it fascinating. You dug into the state's testing data to present it in a way far more meaningful than the state has ever done. And you identified a number of crucial issues that the Toledo Public School District needs to grapple with regarding accountability, transfers, evaluations, and parent participation.
The Blade's statewide data confirm that poverty is the overwhelmingly best predictor of academic success. Many children of poverty come to school ill-prepared for the challenges that face them and lack the support needed to catch up. But the data also highlight that, among similarly situated schools, there are some standout successes and failures.
While the articles focused on a few explanations for these differences, they found no magic wand and, unfortunately, none exists. The successes show, however, that poverty is not destiny, and TPS is aggressively experimenting and changing to find new ways to succeed with urban kids. Come see for yourself by tutoring. I guarantee you'll be impressed by our principals, teachers, and kids.
Many of the changes that need to be made are expensive. We'd love to lower class sizes, have more special reading programs, have a longer day and a longer year, train our teachers more and better, have special pull-out programs as an alternative to suspension, provide special outreach to parents who aren't comfortable reaching out to us, start new prep and high-tech academies, and have a competitive pay scale to attract and keep the best teachers and principals.
Give us a chance to make the changes we need to make. Vote for Issue 23 on Tuesday.
Toledo Board of Education
I am a senior citizen and a homeowner living in South Toledo. I enthusiastically support public schools. Both of my sons attended public schools, and I hope my grandchildren do as well. Where else can one get as varied a student body and as varied a curriculum?
But I do not support the current levy. The publicity emphasizes that a person whose home valuation is $100,000 would just owe $200 semi-annually. It does not say that the $200 is in addition to the several hundred dollars the homeowner currently pays for the schools. On my tax bill, the school allotment is two-thirds of my entire tax bill.
And what has the administration done with our money? It has not repaired school buildings, shrunk class sizes, or purchased new text books, nor has it raised teacher salaries. It has given a large portion of our money to private or charter schools so that those schools, with our money, are now advertising tuition-free enrollment to attract students away from the public schools.
Now the public school administration says that it needs more money to repair the buildings, shrink class sizes, purchase books, and raise salaries. If the levy passes, will they give our money away again? Let's hope not.
JUDITH B. GOTTLIEB
The children of Toledo deserve our support. They deserve to have the backing of our community. Public education is a fundamental right in our country. All children have the right to a free education. Right now, we have an opportunity to show the children of our community that we value them and that we value their education.
By voting for a new beginning for Toledo Public Schools on Tuesday, we give our children a chance for success. The strength of a community's schools affects the strength of the community. Providing a good education for our children helps Toledo provide skilled, educated workers for our businesses. Educating our children improves our neighborhoods and increases our property values.
Dr. Eugene Sanders, our new superintendent, brings an opportunity for change, reform, and improvement. Let's give the children of Toledo a fighting chance. Vote yes for Issue 23. Vote yes for a new beginning for our children and for our community.
In regard to the Toledo Public Schools levy, do the taxpayers really understand that 80 per cent to 85 per cent of the money raised will go for employee raises and benefits? And certainly with no accountability to the public.
The worse our kids do on the proficiency tests, the more money is needed. It's almost self-fulfilling! Do you think that the 10 per cent of the money left will take care of all the changes that are promised? I don't think so. To say nothing of the real estate reappraisals that will be going into effect shortly. We will be paying for the new millage on the new appraisals!
I say, “give me a break!”
As the media continue to discuss our presidential candidates' character or capabilities, voters need to step back and ask ourselves one basic question: What do we believe the role of government should be? I realize there is gray area between the extremes, but, as I see it, we have two choices.
One option is government as the provider. Programs and services to provide for all of those who cannot do for themselves as well as a fair number of those who will not do for themselves. To fund these many programs, the working members of society pay big taxes. There is no such thing as a free lunch. The government takes from those who have and redistributes wealth to the have-nots. Similar to Robin Hood. Similar to a socialist government. This used to be the role of charities, churches, and families, not government.
The other option is government as the enabler. Working people pay fewer taxes, thereby money stays with those who earn it. They make their own choices of spending, sharing, and investing for the future. Smaller government enables citizens to be prosperous. Citizens live the American dream.
So before Tuesday, ask yourself what is the role of government. Do you believe the government can make better decisions with your money than you can?
It is not often in one's lifetime that a person has the opportunity to make a difference in the life of somebody other than an immediate relative. The residents of the Gibsonburg School District have that opportunity Nov. 7.
By voting yes on both of the tax levies, we have the opportunity to change the lives of Gibsonburg children for generations to come. The new school facilities that will result from the passage of the levies will provide our students with the best resources available for their education. With the new facilities we will have a school district that will be the envy of northwest Ohio, and one in which we can take great pride.
In the 1920s the community chose to build our existing high school. Those community members made a difference in the lives of each of us who, over the last 70-plus years, have benefited from attending or being a part of the Gibsonburg school community. This building has served the community admirably. But age has taken its toll and it is time to seize the opportunity that has been presented to our district.
The best part of this opportunity is that we only have to pay for a fraction of the costs. The state of Ohio will be funding nearly $18 million of the total cost of the project. When was the last time Gibsonburg had this kind of gift from the state?
MARK and SUSAN EGBERT