Vote Wisely For The Sake Of Future Education
Dear Parma residents,
I have been either writing to, or attending, school board meetings since October, 2022. I was against buildings being torn down without more taxpayer input. I felt that due to high inflation, children with educational difficulties due to Covid disruption, and high construction costs, the school board should re-think their plans. I felt that there was no money and no real plans since plans were not really being made clear to the public. I now think that I was Sooooo wrong. I am now convinced, and in my opinion, that the board does have a plan, and that it is to tear down the best constructed school buildings that we have like Parma Senior High and Parkview, jam our children into as few schools as possible, watch the badly built buildings like another high school (where I’ve been told walls are separating from its foundation) continue to deteriorate, and then, come at the Parma taxpayers yelling that there is an emergency, and that we must pass a bond issue, or else. They will, also, probably tell you that the new schools have to be mega-schools which most people are convinced are not student friendly, and are not necessarily good for education. Smaller classes and school settings are less disruptive and are better educational settings. You would think that the people on a school board would know this, and want to use this setting.
In a 2018 e-mail to the board, plans to renovate our buildings were included. This was conveniently “overlooked”. Recently held meetings and petitions have let the board know that most residents want our iconic buildings renovated. The board has, also, learned that there is money, which we have already paid in taxes to the state, to do this. They have refused to listen to the people that have studied this, including city officials, who offered this information in early August. In my opinion, they refuse to apply sensibly for these grants. It seems that they want their plan. Renovations have been done by several school systems including Shaker Heights, the hometown of our superintendent.
Recently, a board member passed away. This was posted on the board website very quietly, and a replacement was chosen very quickly. This seems to be this board’s standard way to communicate with the public. In my opinion, they seem to use very limited social media, or very small publications, to limit their audience to get limited input. This would allow the board to choose the path that will get what they want. Other cities, such as Aurora, Hudson and others, called local news stations to announce messages about city planning meetings and such, to get public input for their plans. The Parma board was upset about no public input, but never bothered to use this media. Why not? I feel that they have an agenda! They said that no one attended their town hall meetings. After talking to several residents, I have come to the conclusion that many people had not heard board information. They were not privy to the types of media that the board was using.
I would like to remind the public that on November 7, 2023 there is an election, and several Board of Education seats will be filled. After what I have witnessed, in my opinion we can do better for the educational plans for our children by voting for new people to sit on this board. In my opinion, by voting for incumbents, education will not be the board’s focus, Agendas will rule all decisions. Please think twice, and vote wisely.
A retired teacher
48 yr. Parma resident
Parma school parent/grandparent.