Guest Column: Anna Bunker – Loveland Resident
As a mother of three kids, a school volunteer and supporter of every teacher in the Loveland School District, I agree the classroom trailers and teachers on carts (not classrooms) are not a long-term solution. I also agree the District has no $0 option.
My question is how did we get to this point?
First, how did the schools get into a position to have additional teachers without classrooms or the need for extra space (i.e. trailers) when all the data shows there has been NO significant student growth in the Loveland School district in 10 years?
Second, the age of buildings is not a reason to abandon them and start anew. There are plenty of 80+-year-old schools throughout United States and Cincinnati still serving their communities. If the school district had invested money to maintain and improve these buildings this may not be an issue. For what it is worth, according to the 2018 Loveland City School District Financial Reports, the 2018 maintenance expense was reported over $1 million dollars less than 2017.
I’ve heard comments praising the Board of Education for stretching levy money out past their original request, but there is another viewpoint. We, the Loveland voters, approved a levy giving the school district money to keep the schools operating and maintained, so why didn’t they spend the money? Some may call this fiscally responsible, but if the buildings haven’t been maintained and updated and now need to be replaced, isn’t that being fiscally irresponsible?
CHALLENGE for the Board of Education:
I urge the Board of Education and Administration to take a deep dive into the ROOT CAUSE of how the LCSD got the taxpayers into this situation of voting FOR or AGAINST one of the largest School Levy requests in the State of Ohio and then, create processes and procedures to ensure this doesn’t happen in the future.
Personally, I cannot support giving the school district a gift of three new school buildings, which, if the building maintenance process is not corrected, will need to be replaced after the bond is paid off in 37 years.
In the September 12th information session at the High School, Superintendent Crouse told us if the new $16 million Fine Arts Center with a 1,000 seat auditorium were added to the campus, the existing auditorium building would then be used for educational space including, adding a space for the Robotics team since they have to currently share space with the wrestling team.
Historically, school boosters have been responsible for fundraising and paying for costs/maintenance for their activities. As taxpayers, we are responsible for electing the Board of Education who we trust to provide a quality education to ALL our children, not just the athletes, choirs, bands or other extracurricular teams.
CHALLENGE for Loveland Voters:
This levy will be a hardship for many Loveland residents. I have a challenge to anyone that is FOR the levy and this increase will not be a hardship on your family, please make a healthy donation to the Loveland Music Boosters, Loveland Robotics Team or the Loveland Athletic Boosters. Help these Boosters raise the money they need to improve their programs, but please don’t ask taxpayers to make sacrifices for these extracurricular programs.