For the residents of the Woodridge Local School District, a critical moment is near.

On May 8, voters will decide on whether or not to pass an operating levy. If the levy fails to pass this year, the WLSD will be forced to cut $5.6 million from its annual budget. The Board has already cut $1.2 million, which resulted in a reduction in force, and the remaining staff agreed to wage freezes. An additional $5.6 million cut would have deeply negative impacts on every student in the district.

It is irrefutable that cutting programs, materials, arts, and staff will leave a lasting legacy of untapped potential for our children and community. This decision to fund or not fund adequate training for these students' futures is critical.

WLSD has been forced into this position. Funding Ohio’s school districts is organized in an absurd manner. According to the Ohio Supreme Court, the method through which Ohio funds its school systems has been unconstitutional for over 20 years. Since that time, funding for the lowest income districts has improved, which is progress, but districts like Woodridge have had to repeatedly call on its residents to raise funds to operate its schools.

This particular call on May 8 to raise funds is critical. Woodridge voters may not be able to control how state legislatures determine guidelines for funding public education, but they can shape the future by supporting the funding that our children need and deserve. Residents of WLSD, your students and community are depending on you on May 8.

Beau Schluep, Cuyahoga Falls