Education and a Commitment to Our Community

GOAL:

Through advocacy and coalition, ensure that all of our schools get the funding and resources they need to support our students and give them the education they deserve.

Our schools are the heart of our community. When our schools are strong, our entire community thrives. So we need all of our local leaders united in ensuring that our schools have the funding, resources, and advocacy they need to serve our children, their families, and our entire city.

While many people talk about education as something that benefits the individual, we need to also look at the larger picture: A dynamic educational infrastructure results in a ripple effect of positive outcomes for our entire community. These benefits include:

  • lower crime rates
  • fewer households living in poverty
  • improved public health
  • higher property values
  • increased commercial activity
  • higher wages
  • increased tax revenue and, thus, improved public services
  • higher rates of civic involvement

Yet so many of our leaders today, when tasked with working for our communities’ futures, ignore or—worse—treat our schools like revenue parasites rather than what all the data show they are: one of the most lucrative long-term community investments we’ve got.

Studies have shown that every public dollar invested in quality pre-kindergarten programs yields, conservatively, a return of $7 in tax revenue over the long term. When that investment is sustained over the educational career of every student in a community, the benefits only increase.

Making sure our schools have the funding they need goes beyond helping our own children. It benefits everyone in the community, regardless of whether those residents have children in our schools.

More than this, when we—as a community—commit to supporting our schools, we will not only see measurable improvements in all the areas listed above. We will also feel a sense of pride in the diversity of our schools as well as the unity of our community in supporting them—all of them.*

How I Will Support Our Schools

  1. I will work with our School Board, City Council, the University Heights city government, other city governments across Ohio, and organizations fighting for school funding to move our state legislature to amend how our schools are funded, assessed, and helped when they are struggling. Importantly, we will stand in solidarity to lobby our state legislature to:
    1. fully fund our schools based on the needs of our students and their families, and
    2. separate state funding of public and private schools.

I will work to lead our city, alongside other cities similarly impacted by our state legislature’s backward attitudes toward education funding and assessment, to come together and demand that our state fully fund our schools as constitutionally obligated.

  1. I will collaborate with our local educational leaders, City Council, the University Heights government, and other community organizations to find ways to support our schools, their faculty and staff, and their students and families. Until we can change the way the state funds and assesses education, our cities’ leaders need to be innovative in filling gaps so our schools can better focus on services that they alone can provide. We must stop making our children suffer from the Ohio legislature’s failure to fulfill their constitutional obligation.

*I also want to make clear that I wholly reject the public vs. private schools narrative. All of our schools are vital for our community. While it is true that the fiscal damage done to our public schools by pulling state funding of private schools from the public schools’ funding is devastating to our public schools’ ability to serve its students, the impact this competition of funds has on the morale of our community is untenable. Fighting over the scraps the state throws our way is tearing our community apart. We must stand together and demand better of our state elected officials.