CONSIDER THE FACTS ABOUT SCHOOL FUNDING.
To make the right decision, our community must rely on facts - not rumor, guesswork or opinion. We know you have questions, and here are some answers:
What is a school levy?
A Levy is a local property tax passed by the voters of a school district. Its purpose is to generate revenue to fund programs and services the state does not pay for as part of basic education.
What will investors in our children’s education receive for their support?
Your support would allow the district to expand busing to more students by bringing back full bus services, cut the cost of sports and band in half (from $300 to $150, with a $600 cap per family), add much-needed computers and technology, and enhance the curriculum through the addition of more electives, extra-curricular programs, and College Credit Plus courses (helping families save on college tuition). These investments will help our kids compete today – and excel in the future! We look forward to working with community stakeholders to develop a fiscally responsible plan that meets the needs of our students.
How much will investors in our children’s education have to pay?
Affordability was a crucial factor for this levy. Below is a breakdown of the monthly cost for investors in our children’s education and future:
Appraised Value Monthly Cost
My property value keeps going up so why aren’t the schools receiving more tax money?
Ohio law only allows the original dollar amount voted by the community to be collected over time. This means that we educate our children with an operating budget that hasn’t changed for twenty three years! It’s the same today as it was 23 years ago.
What has the District done over the years to cut costs?
To maintain fiscal responsibility, the district has closed school buildings and received numerous grants to offset operating costs. It has used earmarked funds to support student mental health, staff professional development and more. The district also transitioned its health insurance to the Portage Area School Consortium program, saving significant expenses each year. To save costs on hiring full-time specialized staff members, the district shares services with the Summit County Educational Service Center.
To address deficits in funding, dramatic cuts have been made over the last several years to the educational opportunities available to students, including the number of teachers and school staff. Cost cuts have resulted in many educational programs and services (busing) being reduced to state minimum standards, as well as pay-to-participate fees being added to athletic programs. All of this combined means we are saving millions of dollars compared to 2000. But we are out of ways to find new savings.
How does the Springfield Schools tax rate compare to other districts?
Springfield has the third lowest school tax rate out of 17 school districts in Summit County. In the past 23 years, EVERY neighboring school district has passed levies to deliver more for students and families – except Springfield Local Schools.
What percentage of the District’s budget goes to staffing?
Approximately 73% of the school district’s budget is dedicated to the professional and highly qualified staff who are responsible for providing our youth with a strong educational start. Our educators prepare students for future success with the knowledge and skills they need to become the next generation of leaders, business owners, inventors and responsible citizens who will shape our communities.
The Ohio Supreme Court declared the State’s school funding system unconstitutional for the third time. Why are you asking the voters for more money?
The last time the district received new operating funds was in 2000. While our funding has remained the same for over two decades, the cost of providing quality education continues to rise.
What happens if the levy fails?
Without adequate operating funds, it is impossible to operate and sustain the schools’ education and availability of programs. The district must make cuts that will affect all our students and community to avoid further penalties from the state government. These budget cuts could include non-state mandated educational programs, extracurricular activities, and athletic programs. Meanwhile, our students have performed over 13,200 hours of community service to improve our community since 2000 when the last school levy passed. Spartan students give back to our community. Do your part to support them – vote Yes on Issue 15.