I write to you as a student at Fairmont High School, a Kettering community member and someone who is very concerned about the levy. I understand that times are rough, money is tight, and that this levy will put an additional burden on family budgets, but the levy goes well beyond issues of money and finance.
A rejection of the levy would be devastating to our school district, which has worked so hard to provide the highest quality of education for its students, not just through classroom instruction but also through music programs, athletic programs and other extracurricular activities. These will all be wiped out if this levy does not pass, not to mention the huge cuts in transportation. Students will be crammed into unbearably large classes; they will not be able to learn and maintain the academic excellence that has brought the Kettering School District the highest academic ranking in the state – Excellent with Distinction.
I can attest to the wonders of the many Fairmont High School programs, which I believe are the key to success in high school. If a student doesn’t have a reason to go to school, he or she won’t want to go at all and thus will not be as good of a student. As an involved music student, I recognize how much my high school career was and still is being shaped by Marching Band, Pep Band, Jazz Band and Concert Band. I would not be the student or the person I am today if it were not for Fairmont’s band program.
As a varsity tennis player, I recognize the importance of an Athletic Department. Extracurricular athletic activities bring the school together and push students to push themselves. Some students depend on sports scholarships to get into college and use sports as their fuel for academic success.
As a class council officer and a member of several other activities, I recognize the importance of all of Fairmont’s offerings. These activities offer students a place to belong. Activities like class council and specialized classes such as The Flyer teach students leadership, time management and goal-setting – all skills needed to be successful adults.
The district and Board of Education have been careful and respectful with taxpayers’ money. They’ve decreased the millage in the proposed levy from its level back in May. Positions are being absorbed left and right; Fairmont High School is down one counselor and Kettering Middle School is lacking a principal. The district superintendent doesn’t even have a secretary any more. If this levy fails, between 30 and 50 teachers will be cut, which means bigger class sizes, creating a less personal atmosphere in which students may not feel comfortable talking to teachers. Just like Kettering voters, the district has made sacrifices. Such a genuine attempt to save money should not go ignored.
Consider this levy an investment in the future. So often I hear people of older generations say that they are scared for the future of this country. Now is their opportunity to dissuade themselves of that fear. The students of today and the adults of tomorrow are depending on you, the community members. Property values go up when a school system succeeds and go down when the quality of the school system decreases. Businesses won’t come to Kettering if property values decrease, and the quality of the community will diminish with that of the schools. The levy’s failure could start a chain reaction that could make Kettering’s economy even worse.
This levy on Nov. 2 means everything to everyone in the Kettering City School District. We can’t afford to wait until May. We’re depending on you now. This school system will not be what is has been for a long time if you, the community members, return a negative vote on Nov. 2.
We won’t be the people you want us to be. That’s what’s at stake.