As a parent with two children in the Canfield School system, I am writing this letter to voice my unwavering support for the upcoming levy. I bring a perspective that is a bit unique to many longtime residents. Our family did not grow up here but rather relocated to Canfield in late 2007 from the greater Cleveland area.
We knew nothing about this location other than it was one of the last exits before Pennsylvania. Hours of research about schools and academic opportunities brought us here. Since my husband’s job change required a move, the very first criteria we had for where to move was the quality of the schools. He drives 40 miles each way to work because, statistically, Canfield is the top school district around and that is why we chose to make this town our home.
This region has seen its share of difficult times, no question, but recent developments are encouraging. Last year, Entrepreneur Magazine named Youngstown one of the best locations in the nation to start a business. Governing magazine highlighted Youngstown’s Business Incubator in the recent March issue, saying this:
"But there’s life emerging beneath these hardened scars. In the shadow of the iconic 1919 Home Savings and Loan Company building downtown, a managed cluster of high-tech startups is injecting new energy into the city. It’s the Youngstown Business Incubator (YBI), a nonprofit corporation, and it’s not only redefining the industry of this hardscrabble valley on the eastern edge of Ohio; it’s changing the notion of what cities and states can do to spur innovation and investment."
All this positive news is for naught if nobody wants to live here. Repeatedly, the number one factor in making such decisions is quality schools. We have not just a responsibility to our children, but also to the entire region to maintain the level of excellence we are known for.
One of the most impressive things about Canfield is the incredible commitment of families and the opportunities to produce well rounded students. Canfield really has impressed us with the community support for athletics and arts at the school level. The opportunities we afford our children are first rate. Our children have many privileges and opportunities as the result of our hard work, but a solid education is the foundation for their future success.
According to the GreatSchools website, Canfield’s spending per student is about 18 percent lower than the state average. $7,685 for Canfield, compared to $9,288 as a state average. Additionally, the district spends three percent more on instructional costs, one percent less on support services and two percent less on administration. This is sound financial management.
We owe it to ourselves to support the upcoming levy. Our schools are the number one investment we can make in our community and deserve our support.