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Clyde rails against educational budget cuts at Streetsboro town hall meeting

by mike lesko | Reporter Published: March 12, 2014 12:00 AM
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Streetsboro -- District 75 State Rep. Kathleen Clyde, who conducted a town hall meeting at Streetsboro City Hall March 10, said she is bothered by state cuts to public education in grades K-12.

Particularly, the state's balance of more than $1 billion in its rainy day fund bothers her.

"I would say it's raining in a lot of our school districts and communities," she told a crowd of about 10 at the town hall meeting. "We've just taken so much away from K-12 education."

In Gov. John Kasich's first two budgets, more than $2 billion total was cut from K-12 education, she said. Since the state's 2010 budget was approved, the Streetsboro City School District has lost about $3.3 million in state cuts.

"That's a big chunk of change that we're losing," Clyde told about 10 onlookers. "I would argue that isn't the way to go forward. We should be funding K-12 education."

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Clyde who represents Streetsboro, Kent, Ravenna and all of southern Portage County, said state cuts have "doled out a lot of pain" to school districts.

"We've seen huge cuts in K-12 education," she said. "Schools will be forced to go to the ballot to make up for the cuts they've seen from the state. Middle class families and seniors are being asked to pay more. The state has continued to roll back its investment in K-12 education."

Clyde, who hosts town hall meetings every other month in Portage County, said many area residents are unaware of how large the cuts to local K-12 education have been in recent years.

"Education is one of the most important areas [of state funding]," she said. "It's important to invest in our future. We need an educated work force. It's important to prepare our young people for jobs of the future. We need to make sure we're providing the best educational opportunities we can. We also don't want to fall behind other states and countries. [Funding public education] is one of the most important things we do in state government, but we continue to fall short in adequately investing in our future."

Email: mlesko@recordpub.com

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