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The Suburbanite
  • Letter to the Editor: The community of Green, shaping the future of education

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  • I understand that we are faced with one of the most difficult economic climates in recent history. I understand that times are tough. I also understand that education is the foundation of economic recovery. Green Local Schools is asking for a levy this Nov. 2. For us to continue to produce the quality that Green has come to expect and to have the ability to adapt to the changes that surround education, we need your support. To maintain a strong community, a good quality of life, and maintaining the neighborhoods we all live in, we need your support. Green is a great place, people want to stay in Green and people want to move to Green. Green is a proud place with a heritage of excellence.
    Today’s world is not the world we grew up in, and today’s world is certainly not the world our children will live in. Education and the world around us are changing. Jobs are not standardized; in fact, many jobs that will be around in 5 to 10 years do not exist yet. We must properly prepare our kids for this. Our education system must integrate technology into the academic curriculum. Green Local Schools is a leader at educating all students and we adapt as the world around us adapts. Society demands a higher level of and different set of skills than what schools have had to provide in the past.
    We have proven that we are fiscally responsible. We have abolished and combined jobs including administrative positions which will not come back if the levy passes. We have all taken pay freezes which includes administrators, certified staff and classified staff while our employee contributions for healthcare costs have increased. Our state retirement system is changing and we will work longer and pay more. Green Local Schools has cut spending by approximately $3.5 million while receiving less financial support from the state. Additionally, our student population has increased. We have not received any additional local operating revenue since 1999, even though the cost of operating our school district has increased over the last 11 years. Education is labor intensive: we employ people and the people educate our kids. When you hear that eighty-three percent of our budget goes to people, this is true because our organization is people.
    We are at a crossroads now as we stare the future down and ask what we want for Green. What is the price of a good education? Green Local Schools spends less than the state average per pupil and Ohio spends less than the average per pupil in The United States, yet Ohio is ranked fifth in The United States for strength of educational programming. Your Green Local School District ranks in the top 3 percent of all schools in the state of Ohio. In fact, last year, Green Local Schools had the highest academic growth of any school in Ohio. I am confident that our kids can perform at the highest levels nationally and internationally. We have tightened our belts, we have managed your money well, however we are out of options. Failure of this levy will result in devastating cuts and will jeopardize the educational system we have come to expect in Green.
    Page 2 of 2 - I ask this question. Are Green Local Schools a good investment?
    * We receive and spend less than the state average.
    * We perform in the top 3 percent of all Ohio schools.
    * We are Excellent with Distinction.
    * We are fiscally responsible.
    Green is an Excellent with Distinction school system that delivers at low cost despite a student body of which twenty-one percent is economically disadvantaged. Unlike many other districts that have seen salaries climb during the recession, Green Local Schools are in the third year of a base pay freeze for all staff.
    I believe we are a good investment for kids, for our city, and for all of Green. Please join me in supporting Issue 5 on Nov. 2.
    Thank you for your time and your support.
    Michael Nutter
    Superintendent
    Green Local Schools