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October 27, 2011
Salem News

In support of United Local bond issue

To the editor: As a member of the United community I support the 3.92 mill bond issue that will provide a $38 million building to our community. Borrowing 21 percent (our local share) to get 79 percent in state funds to replace the oldest sections of the school building makes good business sense. Spreading the payments out over 37 years makes the payments affordable for property owners in our community. It is very easy, by the way, to find out what anyone's tax increase will be by going to the Columbiana County Auditor's web site. I was surprised to see that the some of the people who complain the most frequently in letters to the editor about paying a higher property tax will pay very little, if any taxes or do not even live in our district.

As an educator at United Local I have walked around our Pre K-12 school building almost every day for 22 years. I love this school, the students and the staff in it. But I see cracks in the walls, smell stale air, watch the rainwater drip from the roof into buckets and worry about the irreparable classroom windows falling in on someone. I also worry about the safety of our students walking across the driveways to the playgrounds or to the elementary art room or to the 1951 vo-ag classroom in the bus garage. With an old and inefficient heating system running through 11 building additions, I know there isn't much we can do to warm up one hallway of classrooms in the winter, while trying to make another hallway of classrooms cooler.

We want our students to have i Pads and Netbooks to use as learning tools, but we need miles of new wiring in order to have wireless capacity in all the classrooms. It is easy to say "just pay for the repairs, not a renovated building," but how can repairs enlarge classrooms to the standard size or bring outside classrooms inside the building? As a daily reader of our local newspapers, I appreciate the reporters who come to our school board meetings. They write good, factual articles or features about our school activities and achieving students. However, I am surprised and amazed that our newspapers who are held to a high standard of printing correct information, print letters to the editors that are filled with incorrect facts and rumors. How does the reader know what is correct and what is misinformation? As a parent of two United graduates and a grandparent, I am greatly concerned for the future of all our United children and for their children. I don't hear or see the bond issue detractors talking or writing about our students' future. They refer only to having to pay a new tax. United graduates are entering and competing in a global world and economy. They will have to know how to keep up with technology and communication that change rapidly. They will be living their adult lives aware of third world countries that have nuclear weapons or vicious drug wars or believe in suicide bombers. Our children will have to be ready to defend their freedoms. To keep our democracy strong, we have to have a strong public education system with equal opportunity for all. To keep United one of the strongest districts in our county and in Ohio, we need to upgrade and renovate our school building. We need to take advantage of this financial opportunity. We need to do it if for no other reason than for the future of our United children.

RuthAnn Rinto, Superintendent, United Local Schools



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