Vote with your brain

Maybe you voted for your school district's levy. Maybe you voted against it. Maybe you didn't vote. Last week, this newspaper
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

Maybe you voted for your school district's levy. Maybe you voted against it. Maybe you didn't vote.

Last week, this newspaper broke with recent practice for the second time in more than a decade and endorsed a ballot issue: the Sandusky City Schools levy.

We endorsed it because we thought the school district was at a critical crossroads and had done just about everything possible to earn voters' trust, and honestly needed the money. Despite Tuesday's loss, we still think that.

But even more fundamentally than that, we took the time and, to the best of our ability, tried to understand the district's financial situation, on its own and against the overall sorry state of public school funding in Ohio.

And that's part of what convinced us: A dozen years and more since it was determined Ohio's method of funding schools was inadequate and unfair, the state legislature has yet to fix it.

Like it or not, that leaves the whole question of funding local schools up to us, the voters of each district.

And that means it's incumbent upon each of us to understand our district's financial situation and coming to an honest assessment of a district's need.

Realistically, we then balance our assessment of that need against our own financial situations -- property taxes, job uncertainty, all the other things that impinge upon our wallets -- make our decision, and express that decision at the polls.

But according to our online forums, some folks said no, or plan to say no, for a bunch of reasons -- school uniforms, dislike of the superintendent -- that are more emotional than rational. That's shortsighted and just plain stupid.

To those who persist in evaluating their schools' financial need in that way, we say this:

Just keep voting no. No to everything, legitimate or not. Send all of the school districts around here teetering into financial emergency and let the state come in and take over. Ask Huron and Vermilion how much they liked that. Maybe the state will decide all the schools would be better served by lumping them into one countywide district, living on a shoestring under state control.

Boy, won't that show 'em?