The Friends of Boardman Schools committee officially kicked off its levy campaign in support of a 3.9 mill, three-year emergency school levy at the Aug. 27 school board meeting held at Center Middle School.
According to a recent Friends of Boardman Schools press release, the group is a citizen/parent-led organization co-chaired by Jeff Barone and Vickie Davis.
"Our members are concerned for the future of our children, our schools and our community," said Barone of the committee, adding, "We have an excellent school district now and that's despite losing $15 million in state funding over the last 10 years. If we're going to keep our schools and community excellent, we need to help fill the funding gap."
Comprised of a diverse group of folks, according to Friends of Boardman Schools communications director Vince Bevacqua, the committee includes a core group of 20 to 25 members that is continuing to grow, its numbers changing on a daily basis.
Having been rated by the State of Ohio as excellent for numerous years, Bevacqua said that the passage of the levy would also hopefully keep property values up.
"It's in everybody's best interest," he said.
Stating that the board has done a great job of being honest with the community, Bevacqua said the Friends of Boardman Schools committee has decided they have no plan to sit back and wait to see what happens in November, adding that with school now in session, initial dealings have involved reaching out to parents.
Calling feedback very positive, "Most people understand what it is we're trying to share with them," he said.
"Friends of Boardman Schools is all about accountability," said Davis. "As taxpayers and parents, we've seen the school district aggressively cut teachers and staff in an effort to do more with less. Our school leaders have demonstrated they are conservative financial stewards of our money. They keep dollars in the classroom where they belong, and they'll do the same with these desperately needed new funds," she said.
Both co-chairs pointed out that the district has not asked the voters for a new levy since the 5.9 mil levy in 2003, originally meant to serve the district for five years, yet stretched to nine.
For additional information about The Friends of Boardman Schools, or to offer assistance with the campaign, visit www.keepboardmanexcellent.org, or call 330-509-0724. The committee also can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook at keepboardmanexcellent.