Nothing I have encountered in almost 40 years in education is more bewildering and complex than computations involved with calculating school district finances. Understanding the figures is difficult, particularly when we‘re presented with widely different interpretations of the facts.
In the debate over Clinton-Massie’s proposed tax levy, I am reminded of a quote from Mark Twain, “Get your facts first, then you can distort them as much as you please.” Facts, while extremely important to both sides hoping to influence voters, also can cloud one’s vision of reality. And the reality is this: There is no magic formula or plan in the creation of a truly great school.
I’ve found, observing great school districts in Ohio, that trust is just as important as facts! Trust from the community creates an environment where facts eventually become clear, dependable, and expected. Likewise, schools should not expect to blindly earn trust. They must operate efficiently, effectively, transparently, and in partnership with the community.
The choice to support or not should be based not so much on those numbers, but more on one’s confidence in the staff and leadership of the district to utilize whatever precious resources are available in the most prudent and responsible way possible.
The Clinton-Massie district has always, and continues to be, well respected on a local, regional, and statewide basis. Truly greater things are on the horizon. As a demonstration of my trust in the staff and leadership, I will be voting in support of their request for additional operating funds.