To the Editor,
The Carrollton Exempted Village Schools have been working for many years to reduce spending. How, you might ask: by closing three small school buildings, eliminating the Assistant Superintendent position, reducing buses, reducing staff and not filling positions after retirement, therefore, cutting $6.8 million since 2004. The teachers agreed to “no raise” in our last negotiations. Our school district as well as others has suffered Federal and state funding cuts. Now we need you to step up for our children.
The $1.75 million Emergency Levy will preserve existing programs and keep Carrollton Exempted Village Schools Excellent with Distinction. It means $163.00 a year on a $100,000 home or $14.00 a month, $10.33 with Homestead Exemption. This is not additional money but a replacement for money cut from state and federal funding.
What is an Emergency Levy? It is the name given by the state to refer to any levy that is fixed in revenue and requires renewal. In this case the length is five years.
Keep the buildings! This echoed loud and clear. It is a costly venture to keep multiple aging buildings operational. Do we sacrifice education for building maintenance? Each building comes with its own costs. These include utilities; insurances; teachers, administrators, secretaries, buses, janitors, cooks, aides, programs, equipment and supplies. Repairs are an everyday issue at each building, not to mention security/safety, as well as wiring and space for new technology and equipment. These are things no one thought about 50 to100 years ago, when these buildings were built. Reality is, if this doesn’t pass, more buildings must close. This is the only way to manage the additional cuts needed. Do we want this to happen? NO. We are spending each year the savings from closing Harlem, Kilgore and Willis. Don’t get me wrong, I was one of those Kilgore Alumni who didn’t want the building closed. Willis and Harlem buildings will be liquidated; however, Willis has provided some temporary income from a lease of the land.
Remember back when you went to school. Most walked and took their lunch, shared a common cup for drinking and used an outhouse. Do the teachers carry the water, and build the fire to keep our children warm? The answer is a simple no. The world is a different place than when you and I were boys and girls.
Opponents of school levies often say, “Schools should act as better stewards of tax payer money.”
Well, it has been some thirty six years since the school district has been given local levy money. We have done our job, now we need your help.
Is the little money you’ll save voting down a levy worth the permanent damage it will do to your community? Try looking in the eyes of those kids you’re saying “no” to and explain to them why they can’t play in the Friday night football game or be in the marching band, have computers available, etc., due to maintaining our buildings. Losing the activities would be taking away the things that many kids look forward to and use as motivation for doing well in school and staying out of trouble.
Member, Board of Education