Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Best Part!

I almost forgot the best update of all. Remember how our school district was desperately trying to pass an emergency levy in March? Which barely passed, to my huge relief, and even with the passage of it still meant cuts to specials, reduction in bussing, closing 2 school buildings, and pay-to-play sports.

Shortly after its passage, the anti-levy group started collecting signatures for a petition. The petition would put a levy repeal on the ballot for November - a repeal of a permanent levy that had been passed in 2009, bigger than the one we passed in March. I knew they would get the signatures they needed, and they did. In August it was announced that it would be on the ballot.

I tried not to talk about it too much because I hoped it would not become a reality, but I was really worried about how desctructive it would be to the community if this repeal passed. The funding cut would be devastating to the schools, and I worried that the morale of the community would take years to recover. I researched whether we could afford to move to a different district if this all happened.

A few weeks ago a concerned citizen, who happens to be a lawyer (and says he is neither for or against levies in general, but thought that this action to repeal a levy was a new level of concern), brought up legal concerns to the Board of Elections. The simple explanation is that the levy they were trying to repeal was a renewal, not an increase in taxes (even though it made the dollar amount go up, I believe he was saying this was consistent with inflation?). Apparently state law says you can't repeal a renewal, only an increase. (I didn't know you could repeal anything - never heard of it.) The Board of Elections sided unanimously with the lawyer's concerns and removed the repeal from the ballot.

The anti-levy group appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court. So we had another week of waiting for someone to decide how it was all going to turn out. Finally, less than 48 hours before absentee ballots were printed, the Supreme Court also unanimously voted to keep the repeal off the ballot.

This was SUCH an enormous relief to me. We really love it here and want to be here for the long haul. I kept feeling like everything was great except for this thorn in my side that is concern about the schools. And certainly this doesn't mean that everything will always be great, but it's a huge hurdle and a big victory for the families in this community, in my opinion.

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