Loveland City School District – Press Release: Tuesday, December 10, 2019
The Loveland City School District Board of Education met on Tuesday, December 10, and passed a resolution of necessity to place an operating levy of 6.95 mills on the March 2020 ballot. The decision comes five weeks after a failed combined operating and permanent improvement/bond issue on November 5.
“We have sought the feedback of our community through an ad hoc advisory committee to determine the feasibility of a March ballot issue,” said Board President Art Jarvis. “We are tremendously grateful for the commitment shown by these individuals to step up, assist us and provide the community input needed for this decision. After collaboration and conversations with concerned community members, parents, staff and administration about the implications of both a March and a November 2020 operating levy, we, as a board, feel that it is in the best interest of the district to give the community the opportunity to vote in March.”
Approximately $2.7 million dollars of budget cuts will be made in conjunction with the levy. According to Superintendent Dr. Amy Crouse, they will include a combination of reductions in the instructional cycle budget (textbooks, etc.), staff, and contracted services, among others.
“When implementing cuts in our budget, our priority is to protect our students and the growth, achievement and academic momentum gained over the past several years,” said Dr. Crouse.
If the March levy fails, additional cuts will need to be made in order for the district to go back on the ballot in November 2020.
Operating levies fund the school district’s day-to-day expenses, including the salary and benefits of staff, which at Loveland make up approximately 83 percent of operating expenditures. Loveland Schools receive about 32 percent of its budget revenue from the state, an amount that remains relatively flat from year to year. The majority of the budget, nearly 60 percent, must be generated locally – mainly through property taxes. This locally-generated source of funding is also flat due to Ohio House Bill 920, which prevents schools from collecting additional revenue as home values increase over time.
In addition to voting for a March levy, the board discussed the intention to look into options for increasing transparency and community involvement, for example through a model of community advisory groups, one of which would focus specifically on school funding issues and advocacy at the state level.
“We will continue to work with our community on creative solutions for increasing income and reducing expenditures,” said Dr. Crouse. “Our school facility needs as presented earlier this year still remain and will eventually need to be addressed, but the board will not be placing any levy on the ballot for facilities in November.”
The 6.95 millage levy translates into approximately $20/month ($243 annually) per $100,000 of appraised home value as determined by the county auditor. The board will have the millage amount certified by the county auditor and intends to pass a resolution to proceed on December 17. The deadline to submit ballot language to the county boards of elections is December 18.
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