What is at Stake for Worthington Schools this November?

Insight on Ballot Issues 6 and 7


Thomas Hayward

When voting opens up on November 8th, a pair of new issues are set to appear on the ballot that will decide the fate of Worthington schools. The community will have to decide whether they want to fund the new levies requested by Worthington schools. These levies will be used to help upgrade facilities, build new schools, increase staff, and help fund programs.

On the ballot will be two separate levies, which will be used to fund different parts of the district. First on the ballot will be Issue 6, the permanent improvement levy. If passed, this levy will help fund phase two of the Master Facilities Plan. This would mean renovating and upgrading Worthington Kilbourne High School, and it would allow for a complete renovation and modernization of our own Thomas Worthington Highschool. Dr. Trent Bowers, the superintendent of Worthington Schools, says that the levy is needed to stay on track with the rest of the city. As schools upgrade, to stay competitive with them, Worthington must upgrade as well. Along with upgrading the school buildings, this levy will also provide funding to school buses, furniture, technology, and general maintenance.

The other levy that will be appearing on the ballot will be issue seven, known as the Operating Levy or Issue 7. This levy is one that is recurring, appearing on the ballot every four to five years. If approved, it will help increase the budget to pay teachers, meaning that it will allow Worthington schools to hire more teachers and offer better pay to the current teachers. Increasing the number of teachers in the district will allow the district to take on the expected 300 additional students that will enter the district over the next few years.

The problem that Worthington schools will face is if the levies do not pass. Dr. Bowers says that if the community cannot manage to pass the issues, then Worthington will fall behind. After a conversation with Bowers, it is apparent that Worthington Schools see this levy as essential, or else districts like Olentangy Local and Upper Arlington, who are expanding and upgrading rapidly, will pass Worthington in facility quality and capacity. According to Dr. Bowers, this levy is needed to keep Worthington on top as one of the high-performing districts in central Ohio.

While adults care about these issues, as they will affect the taxes that are paid, Dr. Bowers makes it clear that students should care as well. The levies will affect the environment in which students learn, and they will help to pay for the clubs and activities in which students participate. Because of the positive effects that these levies will have on students, Dr. Bowers urges students who are of voting age to register to vote.

For more information and updates, you can visit Worthington Schools’ official website and go to the Master Facilities Plan tab.