The award-winning Shaker Heights High School student news organization

The Shakerite

The award-winning Shaker Heights High School student news organization

The Shakerite

The award-winning Shaker Heights High School student news organization

The Shakerite

‘Rite Idea: Vote Yes on Issue 13

Josh Levin

The Editorial Board of The Shakerite endorses Issue 13, a 9.95-mill tax increase that will be on the ballot Nov. 7.

The issue comprises funding for renovating elementary and middle schools, a permanent improvement levy for building maintenance, and funding for an expanded pre-K program.

Between malfunctioning heating systems, leaky roofs, crumbling walls, insecure doors and cramped classrooms, Shaker’s buildings desperately need renovation. Issue 13 will raise the money to address these problems for grades K-8. 

It will also fund renovations at Ludlow for an expanded pre-K program. This expansion will enable more students to attend, a much-needed step toward closing the achievement gap. Currently, only about half of Shaker kindergarten students attend pre-K. 

The issue does not include a plan for the high school, leaving more time for that discussion once the K-8 renovations are complete. 

Critics argue that the district should segment the plan into separate issues and talk more with the community in order to include more perspectives. However, the district has been seeking community input on facilities solutions since 2016. It’s unlikely that further conversations will result in a substantially different plan.

Waiting to come up with a solution is not productive. Even if we wait a year, the district will need to fix the same problems, and they’ll only get worse with time. 

The issue is a tax increase, which is always met with opposition. Nobody wants to give up more of their hard-earned money. But as the Editorial Board wrote in 2014, “If you move to Shaker Heights, you know what you’re getting.” Shaker has high taxes; it’s part of living in a community with quality schools and few businesses. 

Postponing repairs will make them more difficult and expensive in the future. Voting no will not make the problems with our facilities go away. 

Vote yes on Issue 13.

The election will be held Nov. 7. The Shakerite encourages all eligible voters to go to the polls.

Before writing this endorsement, members of the Editorial Board researched the issue and interviewed members of the committees for and against the issue. The board met five times throughout the process and determined the endorsement by a secret ballot. The Editorial Board is led by Chairman Josh Levin and comprises Managing Editor Ruben Rippner, Opinion Editors Ingrid Holda and Olivia Cavallo and Design Editor Declan Teeter. 

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