OPINION: Submitted by Donel Autin, Loveland resident, father of two sons (1 graduated, 1 LHS Senor) and Executive with Cincinnati Real Estate Development firm
LOVELAND, OH – By now, you’ve probably already decided whether you’re buying what the Loveland City School Board and the leaders in the Administration have been selling. And if you’ve even attempted to pay attention, you’ve had every chance in the world to see multiple iterations of the numbers and analyses, along with the various interpretations by both the ‘YES’ and the ‘No’ camps. But, if you haven’t done that yet, don’t bother, because:
It. Doesn’t. Matter.
Donel Autin is a Loveland resident, father of two Loveland students, Real Estate Development Executive (Provided)
You don’t have to like how we got here, but the only logical way out of this mess is to cast your vote on March 17th as a ‘YES’.
Despite the wide use of facts and figures to try to blind you, most of the arguments against this Operating Levy thus far have been “I don’t like the trends” or “I don’t trust them” or “Why haven’t you been more transparent about this or that” or “I’m still mad about that last crazy Capital Levy request”. Everyone agrees we need to do better. But those kinds of protests aren’t ideas or solutions, they’re just criticisms and complaints. Complaints don’t solve problems.
I believe good people can always find ways to improve. I also believe it will be true that there are things we can do together to better our Loveland Schools performance, effectiveness and cost. The problem will be that very reasonable people are going to disagree mightily on what those things are and on what we should do next.
- Are we spending too much on continuing education and training for our teachers?
- Subsidizing our Arts, Athletics and Technology programs too much?
- Are we adopting new technology too fast?
- Outsourcing too many of our needs to for profit companies?
- Do we need Human Resources and Finance professionals on the Administration staff?
- Do we need to change our approach regarding our children with special needs?
- Is the pay and benefits we offer our educators too costly?
For every time you might say “Of course!” to one of the above items, someone else will say “No way!”. And therein lies the rub. The answers will take a little time to think through and will only happen when our community comes together. In the meantime, a ‘No’ leaves us zero time to develop good solutions and implement them in an effective way. There’s an old German word called “Verschlimmbesserung” which literally translates to “disimprovement”, ie: an attempt at improvement which makes the end result worse. This is where a ‘No’ vote will get us.
Without a ‘YES’ on St Patrick’s Day, the cuts that will be forced onto us will be immediate and life changing for some of these children, potentially affecting them for many years to come. These decisions won’t, and in some cases legally can’t, wait until the next election cycle in November or sometime afterwards in 2021. And, by the way, they’ve already told you what the cuts will look like. If you’re expecting them to magically change their minds and agree with you to do something different in the 90 days after this vote, well…….
The only real solution is to vote ‘YES’ to this Operating Levy on March 17th, then go directly from the voting booth over to the school board offices and sign up for one of the many committees being put together to help develop real solutions.
Do Something. Get Involved. And Vote ‘YES’ on March 17th.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The preceding “OPINION” was approved for publication by members of the Editorial Board of Loveland Beacon. The author is not a member of the Loveland Beacon staff and has received no compensation for this contribution.