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Writer insists open enrollment costs district

4/11/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

Ms. Lee Ann Weisenmiller, retired treasurer of Coventry Local School District, stated in her letter [April 5, 2013, “Former Coventry treasurer explains open enrollment costs”] that my approach to open enrollment was too simplistic and that there were other funds to consider that made it a lot more complicated. Her criticism of my letter on open enrollment is unfounded as these other complicated funds that she refers to actually pale in comparison to the millions of dollars in losses that I mention in my letter.

In my 72 years, I have learned that there is one basic underlying truth in all mathematics. You must always balance the equation! Once the equation is balanced, a fourth-grader could see that we pay more for open enrollment students than what the state funding provides. It really is as simple as I stated. Indeed, the only thing complicated is the “formula” that the Ohio Department of Education uses to compute the funding.

Ms. Weisenmiller offers the same one-sided arguments that her current successors offer and completely ignores the obvious. What I hear in Ms. Weisenmiller’s arguments is the same as what I hear from [Treasurer] Mr. [Aaron] Butts and [Superintendent] Mr. [Russell] Chabody: “that open enrollment is a windfall!”

Ms. Weisenmiller, what I did was present the other side of the equation. My facts and numbers are straight from the Ohio Department of Education and present themselves as an unsustainable drain on the district’s funds, hence the disastrous results. The continued offering of these one-sided arguments by the school board and others in hopes of perpetuating the myth is a callous and arrogant disregard for the taxpaying property owners!

In my letter, I revealed the sources of my information. So let us not dispute the facts, let us not dispute the truth. Let each taxpayer research the facts and make their own conclusions.

In closing, I have three things to say: First, Ms. Weisenmiller, Mr. Chabody, Mr. Butts and all of the open enrollment families will not pay one thin dime towards this enormous tax burden that they propose for the Coventry property owner. None of them live in the Coventry district! Second, it is very comforting to know that Ms. Weisenmiller, Mr. Chabody, Mr. Butts and the families of the open enrollment students will not get to vote on the levy. None of them live in the Coventry district! Finally, if this levy does pass and the new high school is built, it will open the floodgates for even more open enrollment and that means even more operating levies will be needed. Of course, we cannot possibly entertain the name “Coventry High School:” the new name will be “South Akron Annex”!

Vote no!

James Howe, New Franklin

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