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Website, Facebook Page Launched for Avon Lake School Levy

Committee wants to put out 'accurate and factual' information.

A new website and Facebook page put out by the Avon Lake School Levy Committee is hoping to help disseminate information and answer questions on how the proposed 5-year 9.04-mill levy can affect voters.

“The intention is to put forth accurate and factual information,” Allan Fraser, one of the committee representatives, said of the new website, www.AvonLakeSchoolLevy.com.

The website, backed by the  Avon Lake Citizens for Schools PAC, includes a levy calculator that a property can use to determine how much the levy will cost a household if it passes. Users will need to access the Lorain County Auditor’s website to see what their property is valued at.

“We got the idea from a Midview School site that had it,” Fraser said. The calculator was created by Emerge, a new Avon Lake company.

The site also includes a link to the survey information the School Board considered before deciding to put a levy on the November ballot.

“That link is 28 pages; it has all the good and the bad,” Fraser said.

The group also decided to include a 15-minute link to a Vandalia School District video, on how school financing works in Ohio.

“Vandalia is similar to us,” Fraser said. “They have a $34 million budget; ours is $36 million. (The video) shows all the things that impacts the school district.”

The levy, on the ballot as Issue 32, will cost homeowners $277 more per $100,000 home valuation if it passes.

Website complemented by Facebook page

The site is complemented by a Facebook page.

“It’s a little different,” Fraser said. “It’s function is to push out information to others.” He said that page will be used to solicit support for small neighborhood coffees, where residents can ask question from the superintendent Bob Scott in a smaller atmosphere. The district effective used the neighborhood coffees to pass a levy in the mid - 2000s.

The new website also includes tabs for:

 

Saturday informational meeting at Library

The committee will be hosting an informational meeting in the Avon Lake Library Gallery room on Saturday, Sept. 29 at 10 a.m.

ALsupporter September 27, 2012 at 07:43 PM
I'm sorry, I just have to defend the teachers, because my mom was a teacher for about 10 years before she decided that the profession wasn't for her. But she always respected the profession and supported the schools - even when she was a widow, living on a fixed income. She felt it was the older generations' responsibility to provide the same or a better level of education than her generation had received. Anyway, I have to laugh when I hear anyone talking about attracting the "best and the brightest" to teaching. Are they suggesting that they aren't there already? And what if they did attract these "best and brightest"? Are you telling me that someone with a degree in electrical engineering is going to turn down a job with an average starting salary upwards of $70k per year in exchange for half that and the chance to be demonized by the public? I'm sure the EE majors are lining up for the opportunity. Of course 87% of the budget goes for personnel costs, where else is it going to go? Schools make students, not widgets. There are no raw materials. Textbooks, computers and other supplies are only purchased/leased every few years. Anyone who works knows that you have to pay people what they're worth, and that includes teachers. I hope the community will see a way to support the levy. I just hate to see the students lose so much from their schools.
Avon-Laker September 27, 2012 at 07:48 PM
I Appreciate your outline on the website. However the way you have explained how you will use the funding is unacceptable. "The dollars from this levy will pay for all of the “stuff” needed to educate a student well. More importantly it will allow Avon Lake City School District the opportunity to plan and develop educational opportunities which are valuable to students .." While you are clear about how you lost some funding I see very few budget details. It seems the cuts all come at teacher expense and I dont see any reductions anywhere else. Over the past 2 years I have seen good parking lots ripped up and redone for the new bus program New parking lots added for the bus program An expansive new bus garage and a lot of new buses purchased. All for a city that is 11 square miles large. Of course these are only the visual things that can be seen. Hard to imagine what else is done behind the scenes. None of these changes improved our educational program one bit. Why not lay out the complete budget for everyone to see where all the money goes so people can see for themselves instead of choosing the details that best make the case for additional funds. While I am compassionate to the plight of the school system the amount requested is simply too much in this continued poor economy with no short term recovery in sight.
AvonLaker1234 September 27, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Although my taxes will increase over $1,000+ I feel it is a small price compared to lower property values by tens of thousands of dollars. No one, including the school leadership, staff, etc., want to push for the levy but the reality is the State screwed us and cutting misc items (10k here/there) won't fix it either. I think we've all seen this story before in other cities: (if) levy fails, misc stuff gets cut, teachers get RIF'd, scores drop...eventually (years later) a levy passes and then it will take years (decade) to makeup lost ground educationally and home value wise. No one likes any of the outcomes but voting for this really is least painful in the long run I've concluded!
ALsupporter September 27, 2012 at 08:17 PM
Mr. Abbat - My husband works in private industry. And I was a QA manager in a production environment, so I know all about customers, costs, sales, etc. When the company my husband works for loses a big customer, they send out their sales teams to find other customers or to increase orders from existing customers. That's kind of what the levy is: The Avon Lake City Schools have lost funding (a customer) from the state so they are looking for increased funding (a new customer/increased orders) from the community. If the levy is defeated, there will be staff reductions, which will result in program reductions, which will result in the schools not being as desirable, which will result in the city not being as attractive to families, etc. If the levy passes, the school retain their excellent reputation, housing values are supported and hopefully increase, and Avon Lake continues to be an attractive community. Teachers TEACH 8 months a year but WORK 12 months. There is more to teaching than being in a classroom full of students. There are lessons to be written or improved, education to be expanded, collaboration to be done. Talk to a teacher, they'll fill you in (my mom was a teacher, as were several of her friends). The $8.00 an hour comment is about the quality of the employee that would be hired if the level of education a person has is not important, just how cheaply they can be paid. I know teachers are paid more than this, because they deserve to be.
ALsupporter September 27, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Avon-Laker: I'm sorry, when you went to the website, did you click on the tab "Emergency Levy Information" and then click on the link that came up on the next page to open the Power Point? I thought the information about why the money was needed was explained simply, but clearly. The "stuff" comment you mentioned was just to tie everything up. If you scroll up one page, there are more specifics. As has been mentioned several times, the largest cost to a school district is personnel, so the largest cuts will come in that segment of the budget. Other cuts will be made, but they just won't be as significant as the personnel cuts. I believe the bus garage was paid for by a bond issue(?). If so, that money cannot be used to pay for the day to day operations of a school district, you can't switch the use of bond monies. I hope you'll consider coming to the informational meeting at the library this Saturday morning at 10:00 am, perhaps it will answer some of your questions.

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