As soon as we learned we were expecting our little Zoebelle, we began researching school districts. We decided on Olentangy Local School District because it is consistently one of the best in Ohio – and well regarded nationally, for that matter.
We didn’t base our move on a specific town (is Lewis Center even an actual town?!) or a particular neighborhood (although we did fall head over heels with the Shores at first sight and stalked real estate listings until we found our house). No, we made our move based everything we read and heard about Olentangy. You simply can’t beat our awesome schools, teachers and community.
Our Zoe has had an incredible experience at her beloved elementary school and will soon be moving on to middle school – her next big adventure. Our love of Olentangy schools grew exponentially last year when our sweet Thai exchange student had her best year ever cheering, running track, singing in choir and loving absolutely every second of her time in America, thanks to Olentangy High School.
Boy, did we make the right choice when we picked our town and neighborhood based on Olentangy schools. A fantastic school district makes a fantastic community – plain and simple.
That’s why I am so surprised when I hear that there are some in our community who are against the current much-needed school levy on the ballot this March. I actually stumbled across a page on Facebook – thankfully with very few followers – focused on dissuading people from voting for our school levy (and no, I won’t be linking to it!)
If you live here, you know how great our schools are. You likely had kids go through the OLSD system – or perhaps even still have kids or grandkids in our schools. You know they provide an educational experience that is second to none. And surely you’d want this to continue for our community for years to come?
I think there’s a misperception that our schools could find other means of funding their operations and services, but that’s simply not true. The Olentangy school district grew so rapidly that we are grossly underfunded by the state; and although the district and volunteers continue working to change this, making any kind of governmental change always takes time.
In the meantime, Olentangy operates extremely efficiently, doing more with far less than other, comparable districts in central Ohio – and turning out amazing results in the process. However, because state funding falls so short, our school district truly must be locally funded. Since only 6 percent of Olentangy’s funding comes from the state, it falls to our community to support our schools. That’s where the 2020 levy comes in.
The funding provided by the levy will allow our school district to continue its mission to facilitate maximum learning for every student while supporting enrollment growth.
The school levy’s annual cost to residents in the Olentangy school district will be approximately $277 per $100,000 of home value. The value to our kids and schools will be so much more than that! While it is of course a sacrifice to pay more taxes, in the big picture our schools will still be doing more with less money than the surrounding school districts – and our taxes still won’t be as high as some. And our schools truly need it.
I trust Olentangy’s leaders. I’ve been to the PTO meetings and heard district representatives speak. I see Julie Feasel’s school board posts on Facebook and marvel over how committed and dedicated she is to communicating the facts so people will understand. For those who are willing to listen and learn, OLSD is providing all the data and information needed to understand why this levy is necessary and why every vote is so important.
I am not an expert on school levies or taxes, and trust me when I say I’m a writer, not a math-er! But there’s very little that I’m more passionate about than our schools and our community. So please, come out to the polls on March 17 and vote yes for the Olentangy schools levy. And if you have any doubts about it, read up on the ballot issue, go to the meetings and talk to the district folks. Then, you’ll truly understand what this levy means to our schools.
Our community continues to grow and develop at an unprecedented rate, and our schools can’t help but struggle to keep up with that rapid growth. Voting YES for the Olentangy schools levy is one way we can help them do that – and it’s also a way that we can give back and show our support and appreciation for the amazing education our kids receive every day from the teachers, administrators and staff at our Olentangy schools.
In writing this post, I am saying a big and heartfelt THANK YOU to every Olentangy teacher, coach and staff member who has touched, impacted and improved the lives of our beautiful daughters – both Zoe and Napa. I’m so thankful to Olentangy schools every day and I truly hope this levy passes so our district can continue to grow and our community can continue to thrive!
As always, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below or over on Facebook – and I know we’ll all remain kind and neighborly as we continue this conversation.