PICKERINGTON, Ohio (WCMH) — As Pickerington School District prepares for students to return, one school board member has been talking about the failed bond issue and overcrowding problems on social media.
Cathy Olshefski, a member of the Board of Education for Pickerington Schools, said in a post:
“Ready for a REALITY CHECK? Our. Schools. Are. Crowded.Enrollment #s keep going up. And the voters have chosen not to pass our MUCH NEEDED ballot issue to fix the problem. So … here’s the current reality of how we’re handling the challenge at least for this year …Based on the current enrollment and the increasing number of students newly enrolling in the school district, the following buildings/grades can no longer accept requests for intra-district building transfers “in” for the 2021-22 school year….”
Olshefski goes on to list 13 schools and provides a link for updates.
Charles Newman, a community leader and member of the Black Parent’s Network, advocated for May’s ‘no’ vote. Newman said that the perception on reading the social media post was one of shaming.
“I don’t know what Cathy’s train of thought was when she wrote that post, so I’m not going to say she did it to shame people, but I can tell you that the perception from what people read that was, and voters in this community, it was a ‘hey look at this, you should be ashamed of yourselves and people are still sitting there: But you never came to me and asked me, ‘what is it that I want to see in this package? What would I vote for?'”
Newman said some ‘no’ voters wanted the school board to address diversity and inclusion in a positive way. Some didn’t know whether bond issue money would be going to athletics, not academics, and there were other concerns.
“They should walk away from this, and look at the engagement they are getting from this post, to say, ‘hey, maybe we need to stop throwing numbers at people, and start throwing options, and start having dialogue. If we were to bring this back, what would people want to see in this levy?’ The district didn’t do that. They just made a decision. They still don’t have a conscious, real determined reason on why the community voted ‘no’.”
“I think every board member, every district leader, should be working to truly find out: ‘what was your ‘no’ vote for?'”
NBC4i.com’s Cynthia Rosi had an interview lined up with Olshefski to discuss her social media post, but she canceled it.
Newman plans to run for school board, but his candidacy is not official, yet.