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Our View

Sports were cut in one Medina County school district.

The Sheffield-Sheffield Lake system has been placed under state supervision after voters rejected its eighth straight levy.

And board members in Medina County moved forward with closing Litchfield Elementary School, eliminating athletics and reducing busing to the minimum required by the state. Two remaining elementary schools will absorb students when Litchfield closes, The Plain Dealer reported Thursday.

These three districts are not alone in cutting services. They are also not alone in losing levies last week.

In Northeast Ohio, 17 of 26 school tax issues failed last Tuesday, and this dismal success rate mirrored statewide numbers, where only 23 of 64 issues on the ballot passed.

Voters passed school issues at a rate of 33 percent across Greater Cleveland and at a rate of 38 percent across Ohio. The rates are a sad, frustrating reminder that citizens don’t want to pay for the education children need most.

Many voters say they don’t have the money. While such may be true, especially of elderly citizens who live on fixed incomes, an unfair picture of the issues must not be painted. Most school districts are not requesting more money than the majority of voters can afford.

Other voters say they feel money is being squandered by schools. It is true that reform is needed in several districts, but refusing money to them does not necessarily mean money will be lost by wealthy school officials.

Voters who vote levies down must keep in mind the ways in which it can impact their communities.

A community without extracurricular activities may find more teenagers out on the streets, doing whatever they find to keep themselves busy. And a community without a good educational system will suffer when students learn little and produce less.

A good economy is, more often than not, built by educated masses. A state without a good educational system will suffer, and most know that Ohio’s economy does not need further blows.

The Ohio Supreme Court has determined the state’s system for funding education through property taxes to be unconstitutional — four times. The Ohio legislature has yet to address that over-reliance on local property tax.

While state funding may be unconstitutional, a plan has not been devised to remedy the situation. Until it is, citizens have a responsibility to support schools.

They have a responsibility to pass levies so elementary school students are not crammed into classes where they receive less — or no — personal attention.

They have a responsibility so students across Northeast Ohio are not forced to walk two or three miles to get to school through dangerous weather or dark mornings and afternoons.

It is not fair to make the students lose out because the state doesn’t have its act together. Funding — unconstitutional or not — has nothing to do with them.

In May’s primary election, voters will see many districts return their measures to the ballot. Keeping the children in mind, they must pass those levies so pupils today receive the education they cannot succeed without.

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