Tuesday, November 28, 2000

Middletown isn't giving up on tax levy

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer Contributor

        MIDDLETOWN — Don't give up on our kids or our teachers is one message Superintendent Wayne Driscoll said he's heard over and over despite the defeat this month of a levy to repair and improve Middletown's aging schools.

        “The need is there. The $130 million investment (in school buildings) is there. I'm not going to give up on this community,” Mr. Driscoll said at last week's board of education meeting — the first since voters rejected a 4.2-mill ballot issue that would have added classrooms at Middletown High School, improved buildings and reorganized schools.

        The gap between the yes and no votes since a similar plan was rejected in February 1999 — when Middletown was a combined district with Monroe — shrank from 40 percent to 8 percent, Mr. Driscoll said.

        The board will not resubmit the issue for the February ballot, but will ask the community for input before reworking a plan to put before voters later in the year. Besides asking the facilities and finance subcommittees of the Business Education Community Collaborative to review the plan again, the board has asked the state to look at facilities.

        Officials said anyone interested in working with any of the committees or those wanting to give comments should call 420-4656.

        “The strength of our community is based on the strength of how we treat our children,” school board President Mark Frazer said. “If you cared enough to vote yes, care enough to take the next step.”


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