School district accused of working on campaign during school time

I know what you are thinking. It is not Sylvania this time, but North Royalton. This issue is not local and happens across the Ohio, BUT it does not make it right. The State of Ohio should clarify to the Ohio districts the consequences of districts and employees violating the law.

The North Royalton school board has revisited its policy and formally and clearly spelled out what can and cannot be done in regards to employee campaigning during school work hours.

The issue was first broached shortly after the May election by Board Vice President Barbara Ann Zindroski who told her colleagues that some parents had reason to believe teachers were campaigning for the most recent bond issue in the classroom, something that ultimately turned them off from supporting the bond.


Teachers campaigning for the $49.8 million bond issue, supposedly during classroom hours, may have helped defeat the issue on the ballot Tuesday.

That is what Barbara Zindroski, a member of the Board of Education, told the board and school administration Thursday night. She said parents were so turned off that some teachers reportedly used classroom time to push the bond issue that they voted against the issue.

No votes yet

school districts to believe that they don't have to comply with rules that affect large urban, low-scoring districts. They often feel that, because they have high test scores, the citizens in their school district feel lucky just to live there. These teachers believe that parents in the district feel even luckier because their perception is that high test scores equate to a better school district. Also, and this is big, in smaller school districts, there is a general feeling that everyone knows everyone else, so a school employee can't get into any real trouble for "bending the rules" a bit. We're all one big family! Right?
If these accusations are true, it's still a stretch to blame the loss of the levy on those illegal actions. Why? There seems to be some kind of mass misunderstanding going around about passing local levies in Ohio. School levies are especially tough to pass, because so few voters have children or grandchildren in public schools at all. And many times, the grandparents don't even live in the same school district as the one their grandchildren attend anyway. The statistics I saw is that only about 20% of voters in most school districts in Ohio have children in traditional public schools. Every levy is an uphill battle. New levies, generally, have a built in "NO" vote of at least 45%. Most early polls on new school levies, before a campaign has begun, show the levy losing by about a 2-1 margin!

Once again, we're missing the focus. In Ohio, we have had a state government dominated by one political party for more than 20 years. One major goal of that political party has been to shift the burden of taxation away from businesses in Ohio and the wealthiest Ohioans. That's factual. And they have been successful at doing just that. That means that if Ohioans want adequate to excellent local government services, they must pass local taxes to fund those local needs. That political party states that this leaves the decisions about what level of local government services for which local citizens are willing to pay, in the hands of those local citizens. What could be more fair, they state?
The problem is, such tax shifting creates a system of winners and losers. The poorer an area is, the more services are needed, but the local citizens are less able to pay the higher taxes needed to provide those services. This includes traditional public schools. Now, my question is, what did those 5-18 year old children who happen to live in a poor area do to deserve to get an inferior education? Why must they suffer? Recently Perrysburg passed an enormous property tax levy for their schools. I was genuinely surprised that it passed, but it did. I can't imagine a scenario where another local school district, outside of Ottawa Hills, could pull that off. Too many living in the Toledo area simply could not afford it!
Ohio does NOT need enormously high state taxes. What Ohio needs is to return to a fairer system of statewide taxation; one which removes much of the burden from local taxpayers to either pay more than they can afford, or watch the continued erosion of their communities.

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