Olentangy votes for success


By Karly Batta 

Lewis Center, Ohio

On Tuesday March 17, people in the Olentangy District community will vote for a levy to raise money for a single tax issue. 

The money gained will allow Olentangy to continue to provide excellent education and opportunities for the students and community. There are three parts in the levy, including an operating levy, a permanent improvement levy and a bond issue. 

Money will be separated based on the cost of each section. The money will go towards adding security vestibules to our buildings, utility and building improvements, technology, educators, two new elementary schools and a new middle school. 

“If we don’t pass this levy, Olentangy will look like a very different school district than it does today,” OLSD Board of Education President Mindy Patrick said. 

This levy is the decision maker for how the district can improve and meet the needs of students, educators and parents. Everything that is not mandated by the State of Ohio is on the verge of potentially being cut. Furthermore, the district would have to cut over $16 million for the next school year, more the next year and more the year after that. 

By the year 2023, school enrollment is said to increase 1,500 students (which is over two elementary buildings). People move to the district because of the schools, which makes homes more desirable. Olentangy is in this situation because it is considered a “wealthy” district, according to Patrick.  

“It is up to us” to vote and keep the education and opportunities available for the students and allow them to achieve success, Patrick said.  

The success and achievement the students can make from now on depends if the levy is passed or not. In order for the students to receive the same education and opportunities they get today, this levy has to pass, Patrick said.  

The levy includes something for every student such as updated safety practices, improved playgrounds, maintaining current class sizes, busing services and the continuance of sports, arts and academics.

Students can talk, inform and educate others on what the situation is and how it will affect the future. From there, information will be shared and people.

Being in the district for 12 years and watching the district change and grow, increasing the taxes is less important than increasing the education and safety of the students, parent and district employee, Karen Batta said. 

“The levy is important to me because it gives students the best learning experience possible. If we didn’t have the levy we would not have as many fun experiences, such as field trips and sports,” freshman, Katie M. said. 

Non-supporters of the levy worry about the tax increase. However, millions of dollars are being put into providing a safer environment and education for all students in the district. If passed, taxes will increase to $276.50 per every $100,000 of the home valuation. For example, if a home value is $400,000 the homeowner’s taxes would go up $1,106 per year ($276.50 x 4 = $1,106).