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Opinion

Coventry supporter says district preparing students for college

3/28/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

This letter is in response to Hugh Weinberg’s letter urging Coventry residents to vote no on the upcoming Coventry [Local Schools] levy [“Coventry resident urges ‘no’ vote on school levy, bond issue,” March 15, 2013, issue].

I, too, attended the meeting held by Coventry school officials on March 4. Mr. Weinberg states that the meeting only focused on “how the district’s expenses may be further decreased” and that the meeting “brushed over the 4.89 mills, $28.3 million new high school requirement.” I feel that this is an unfair assessment of what this meeting was about. This was not a community meeting to discuss the levy or a new building — this was a special meeting of the Coventry Board of Education to approve cuts that would take effect beginning the 2013-14 school year.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, Mr. Weinberg said that he could not afford higher taxes and that he would like to see the levy defeated. He never stated he was against the levy because of his “concern” that Coventry students are not meeting expected standards on state assessment tests nor did he question their “college readiness.” Mr. Weinberg must be unaware that Coventry Schools are rated Excellent with Distinction, which is the highest rating a district can be given with the state’s current standards. He must also be unaware that many Coventry High School students participate in the Post Secondary Educational Options Program, which allows them to take college courses at local universities while still in high school.

Mr. Weinberg stated in his letter that we should “concentrate on CLSD students’ learning.” I would love for that to happen, but the fact of the matter is that most students cannot fully focus on learning when they are dodging rain buckets in the hallways or worrying if a ceiling tile is going to fall on their head while in class. I don’t know what more this district can do to prove to the community that the buildings are falling apart. Programs and services for students will be cut if our district is forced to keep spending money out of the General Fund to pay for repairs on outdated equipment and facilities. This levy is not just about getting a new high school, it’s about making all of our buildings as safe and efficient as possible. Why wouldn’t a community want that?

I urge everyone to educate themselves on the facts about this levy. The website www.supportcoventry.com has great information on the condition of the current facilities, a list of improvements that can be made with the passage of this levy, and a link to a bond calculator that will show you how much the levy will cost you based on your property value.

I support the Coventry Local Schools and will be voting ‘yes’ on May 7.

Jennifer Brooks, New Franklin

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