An Investment in Euclid Schools Benefits Us All
by Jane Steger |Originally published in the Euclid Observer Community Newspaper
You get what you pay for. I believe Franklin D. Roosevelt’s statement, “Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education,” is a truism; just like the statement, “you get what you pay for.”
We are very fortunate to live in a country where every child has access to education, but it’s never been free, and because “you get what you pay for,” it’s not equal. School systems in communities like Euclid get penalized on many fronts, such as loss of revenue through property taxes (population isn’t growing), state aid in the form of increased EdChoice vouchers, and shared income tax. As a Euclid voter, I didn’t start to understand school funding until I got involved with the Citizens For Euclid Schools committee (and I’m still learning).
Through my involvement with this committee, I’ve come to appreciate that schools reflect the quality and integrity of the individuals who get involved, challenge the status quo, and support decisions that put students first. And although we don’t have children in Euclid schools, I believe in paying it forward...as others did when I was in public schools.
The March 2020 levy represents a little over $19 per month for the average Euclid house worth $75,000. Keep In mind that this is what was being given to the schools prior to the failure of the 2018 renewal levy.
I hear many positive things from Euclid school parents, but for those of us without that ‘front row seat’, all we hear about is the “D” grade Euclid City Schools received on last year’s State Report card. Those who fully understand this grading system believe it is flawed as it penalizes communities with lower median household incomes. Knowing this, Cleveland.com looked at the Report Card from a different perspective with the intent to highlight the districts that were beating the economic trends. According to their findings, Euclid schools ranked ahead of South Euclid-Lyndhurst, Cleveland Heights-University Heights, Shaker Heights, Richmond Heights, Berea, Bedford, Willoughby-Eastlake, Garfield Heights, Mentor, Maple Heights, Kirtland and Strongsville. And are ranked just behind the districts of Independence, Hudson, Kenston and Orange.
I know that supporting our schools is a tangible investment in our home and property; just like an investment in a new roof, a solid school system maintains and protects the investment we’ve made.
I also know that our taxes are high, but without strong schools, people will continue to leave Euclid or choose not to move here...thus requiring fewer of us to carry the tax burden and individually paying more. With strong schools, we attract families, which in turn attracts businesses resulting in a larger taxpayer base. You improve the schools and you'll improve the city.
I believe we are at a serious crossroads and not passing this levy will erode any progress made and limit the administration’s ability to provide a well-rounded school experience that every Euclid student deserves.
Let’s build a stronger community for all of us by voting YES on Issue 27 on or before March 17, 2020.