As a 'rich district' CH-UH schools get less state support

What is a “rich district”?

Multiple posts on Nextdoor have said that the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District is a “rich district.” We are not a rich district because of the beautiful houses along North Park, Fairmount, or Euclid Heights boulevards. The state of Ohio classifies us a rich district because of the taxes we have voted in to support our schools.

We are already 46% above the state average for taxes supporting our schools. As such, the state of Ohio says it does not need to contribute as much state fund[ing], since we have taken the burden on ourselves.

The question you need to start asking yourselves is how long can you continue supporting a school district that doesn’t manage its finances properly. Our school district encompasses a larger area than just Fairmount, North Park, and Euclid Heights boulevards. We have homeowners in the Noble Road area. We have people in our city enduring 14% unemployment, due to the current financial climate. We have people who are working multiple part-time jobs because they can’t find full-time work. We have seniors on fixed incomes—just social security—who are facing the prospect of losing their homes or apartments because of high taxes and rent increases.

Now is not the time to vote in an unnecessary school levy. Think about your neighbors who may have to move because they can’t afford the taxes here anymore. Hold the school board accountable for the money it was already given. If [board members] need help managing their finances, they should ask the Ohio Auditor of State. [Its auditors] are independent experts, neither for nor against the levy. The auditors will come in, see where the money is being spent, and offer the district suggestions on how to fix its money problem.

The more taxes we vote in, the lower the support from the state of Ohio. This places a greater burden on those who are least able to afford it.

John Vitale

John Vitale is a longtime resident in the Cedar Lee neighborhood, concerned for the sustainability of our city, schools and residents.

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Volume 13, Issue 11, Posted 3:13 PM, 10.23.2020