Letter to the editor: Support Aurora education at the ballot March 19

Editor’s note: The Portager publishes letters to the editor from the community. The opinions expressed are published not because they necessarily reflect those of the publication but because we feel they contribute meaningfully to the local discourse on matters of public interest.

The Aurora City School District (ACSD) is gearing up for another crucial renewal as it seeks to continue its mission of providing quality education while maintaining essential infrastructure. With the March 2024 ballot looming, voters once again have the opportunity to support the district’s Permanent Improvement Levy RENEWAL, a cornerstone of Aurora’s education funding since its inception in 1989.

This levy, which has been renewed six times prior, has been instrumental in ensuring the upkeep and enhancement of vital facilities and resources within the district. Originally set at 1.5 mills, the levy represents a commitment to maintaining the integrity of school buildings, transportation, and other essential infrastructure. However, due to changes in property values over the years, the effective millage has decreased, ensuring that residents contribute a fair share while still meeting the district’s financial needs. Despite the apparent decrease in millage, the importance of this levy cannot be overstated. Generating just under $900,000 annually, these funds are directed towards critical projects such as roof repairs, road maintenance, bus upgrades, and boiler replacements. Moreover, the levy plays a key tole in managing the financial obligations associated with Leighton Elementary School, constructed in 2001. Because this is a renewal levy, there are NO NEW TAXES.

By way of history, the ACSD recently successfully passed a new money levy to support current operating expenses, reflecting the community’s commitment to investing in education. Additionally, discussions are underway regarding a potential bond issue for the construction of a new high school, a project that holds promise for enhancing educational opportunities for Aurora students.

Superintendent Roberto’s vision for the future of ACSD includes a comprehensive plan to accommodate the district’s evolving needs. Proposals for a new high school, coupled with reconfigurations and improvements of existing facilities, demonstrate a proactive approach to addressing growth and ensuring equitable access to resources across all grade levels. The formation of a dedicated “New Construction Steering Committee” will ensure that community input remains central to the decision-making process, reflecting a commitment to transparency and collaboration.

As Aurora prepares to cast their votes in March, the renewal of the Permanent Improvement Levy stands as a testament to the community’s dedication to providing a robust educational environment for its students. By continuing to invest in essential infrastructure and resources, residents are not only safeguarding the district’s legacy but also paving the way for a brighter future.

You may request your absentee ballot now by going to the Portage County Board of Elections website at: https://www.portagecounty-oh.gov/board-elections. The date of the election is March 19, 2024.

— Rachel Reight, Levy Campaign Co-Chair

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