We’re gathering the last few pieces of video for Columbus Neighborhoods: Bexley, which premieres Sunday, Feb. 15 at 8 p.m. on WOSU TV.
Yesterday, while shooting at Bexley High School, we saw the In The Know trophy case. Bexley always fields a strong team in WOSU’s high school quiz tournament.
In Columbus Neighborhoods we’re looking for distinguishing, unique characteristics of the communities we profile for this series. What makes them special? The support the community shows for Bexley’s public schools system is one of those things. It’s among the top 25 funded public schools systems in the state.
Referenda for school taxes have been defeated in Bexley, but it happens so infrequently that those occasions are memorable. A school official told us that one defeat at the polls occurred when the election was accidentally scheduled on a Jewish holiday, and members of that community didn’t make it to the polls. Many people in Bexley told us about the strong commitment members of the Jewish community have to public education.
But the Jewish community represents only about 20 percent of Bexley’s population. What explains this community’s strong support for education?
“That’s one of the reason you move to Bexley,” one resident told us. “You want to belong to a community that shares your strong commitment to education.”
History may be part of answer. Bexley was formed when two small communities—Bullit Park and Pleasant Ridge—united. Pleasant Ridge was located off Main Street, and in 1876 Capital University moved there from Columbus. This university was planted literally in a cornfield, and many of the area’s early residents worked or taught at Capital. It might be that in Bexley’s early years its population was disproportionally represented with teachers, students, and administrators. Their advocacy for schools and education in Bexley’s early years may have created an expectation that is still articulated today.
That’s one of the things we’ll explore in Columbus Neighborhoods: Bexley.