Keeping an award-winning school district in the upper echelon of Ohio districts is a tough thing to do. It takes money, and under Ohio's school financing structure, that means most of the funds have to come from local residents.

The local schools are asking voters to approve a 5.9-mill additional operating levy which would run for a continuing period. It would cost the owner of a property valued at $200,000 about $415 a year in extra real estate taxes.

Yes, that's a lot of money, but it's a wise investment. It will enable local students to continue receiving a topnotch education, and it ultimately will keep property values high, because residents and those considering moving into the district will know their children will be very well educated.

Thus, the Aurora Advocate encourages local voters to cast a positive vote on May 2 to keep the district healthy financially and continue the outstanding education that students receive.

The levy will generate about $3.7 million per year, and would stave off a deficit situation for a few years. If the levy doesn't pass, officials project the district to be about $545,264 in the red by the end of the 2019-20 school year.

That would be a sad situation to face for a district which has accomplished so much over the years, and is respected by educators across the state for its academic and fiscal achievements.

The state certainly cannot be relied upon to help out the district. The currently proposed state school budget shows little or no increase in funds for Aurora in the next two years. And the state has reduced its aid to Aurora by millions in recent years.

Although residents might wonder why the district is not getting more tax money even though more and more houses are being built, they must understand that there is no allowed inflationary growth on voted millage in Ohio.

We urge voters not to put school officials in the position where they have to cut employees and programs, and thus cheapen the educational integrity of the district. Vote "yes" on Issue 4.