Ohio schools’ failure means Ohio’s failure

Our View

Ohio is seriously going down the tubes. The job market is crummy and getting crummier by the second. Gov. Taft’s judgment is a little (or a lot) more than questionable. But, most importantly, the current state of education in Ohio is contributing to the downfall of the Buckeye State.

Of course, this isn’t exactly breaking news. Anyone who has been following the goings-on of what is happening in the Cleveland Municipal School District could corroborate — the schools are floundering, and it’s more than troubling — it’s terrifying. Terrifying, at least, for anyone who might want to stay in Ohio and try to raise a family here.

According to a recent story in The Plain Dealer, Cleveland Municipal School District CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett proposed a complicated plan in an attempt to save money for the school system. In it, 13 (out of 30) schools would be closed, and those students then would be moved into the remaining 17 schools.

While this seems to be a drastic measure, it is rapidly becoming one of the few options available to a city that has consistently had problems with school funding.

School funding (or the lack thereof) has touched other area schools as well. Cuyahoga Falls High School just saw a walkout in protest of the layoff of 47 teachers in their school system. According to an article in the Akron Beacon Journal, the high school students say their teachers were notified about the loss of their jobs during class, which, even superintendent Edwin Holland admitted, was a mistake.

In addition to being upset about how their beloved teachers were being treated, the students were protesting potential “pay-to-play” fees for students participating in extracurricular activities. All of these changes are attributed to a $3.9 million deficit caused by financial miscalculations by the former treasurer.

These are just two examples of how Ohio schools are swirling down the toilet. There will be many, many more if some changes aren’t made soon. There are a lot of shoulders where the blame could be placed in these situations — upon the governor, the school boards, the school administration, the teachers. However, the old saying about pointing fingers rings particularly true in this instance: When you point your finger at someone else, there are four pointing back at you.

The people of the state of Ohio need to start passing school levies. They cannot wait for Gov. Taft to slap a slot machine-shaped bandage on the school funding issue. They cannot wait until they have children of their own in the school system where they live. They cannot use the excuse that their children have already gone through school, and they have paid their dues.

Yes, that means more money would be owed in taxes. However, whatever that amount may end up being, it’s worth it. It’s worth it because the future of this state rests upon its youth. If they are not well-educated, they will not be able to keep up in a very competitive job market and increasingly complex world … and neither will Ohio.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.