The Frontier School District is at a crossroads, and which road it follows will depend on the success or failure of a 5-year, 9.19-mill emergency levy on the Nov. 5 ballot.
We think voters should vote 'yes' on the levy, which would generate $550,000 a year and cost the owner of a $50,000 home an additional $160 a year in taxes.
We think that's money well spent.
School officials have said failure of the levy would mean major changes which could include shifting grades to certain buildings, the very real possibility of closing schools, the elimination of music and gym in elementary schools, and more.
If it passes, current services would be maintained. Music and gym, which just recently returned to the elementary schools, will stay. Passage of the levy could bring art back to the elementary schools and help to pay for additional staff needed to help at-risk students. Levy passage would also help with school building upgrades, including the addition of some computers. School officials say having the necessary number of computers at school is significant because many students don't have computers at home, and soon, state standardized tests will be taken on computers.
The stark reality is that under Ohio's present funding system, additional education dollars are going to have to come from the local community. So, it's up to the community to decide what kind of schools and programs it wants for its children. Educating children is no place to cut corners.
The Frontier district already operates in the red and it's been hurt by declining enrollment. The district has long been running a tight financial ship. Frontier teachers have among the lowest paid teachers in the state and lose many teaching candidates to nearby districts that pay better, officials say.
We believe the Frontier school board and administration aren't being extravagant in the way they operate the district. It's clear additional local revenue is needed. The questions is when. We agree the time is now.
Vote yes for the Frontier school levy on Election Day.