Both sides sounding off on the Fairfield levy on the ballot
There are more than 200 levies on the ballot across the Buckeye state Tuesday and one of them is in Fairfield. Hundreds of parents, students and teachers held a "Light the Night" rally to drum up support for the levy.
Supporters say without the levy the school district will be forced to cut bus service, field trips and eliminate a variety of extracurricular activities. The school board has already trimmed $8-million in expenses and laid off 135 teachers.
Former school board member Arnold Engel says the levy is not necessary's. He says "There are over 16-million dollars that they can cut without enacting all these poisonous, blackmail anti-student cuts...in this economy today doesn't warrant anybody putting a levy on the ballot." Engel also says levy supporters are using their kids to press their point.
School superintendent Paul Otten bristles at the suggestion that children are being co-opted into fighting for the levy. Otten says "We have never crossed the line using kids. The way we look at our kids is our programs are designed for our kids."
Tracy Ruberg is a parent who says the levy is a necessary investment in the community's future. "Its critical to continue the quality education, the value of our community and the business value that comes here by having great education and families that want to live and work here."
Ruberg says the schools have been hurt by cutbacks from the state. She says "We simply can't keep the level that we have without raising more money just like I can't support my family at the same level I did seven years ago without more money."