NORTH OLMSTED, Ohio – Less than three months after 58% of residents voted against the North Olmsted City School District’s combined $7.8 million operating tax and bond issue, the school board has approved last week the implementation of the same demand for fresh money on the Ballot of November 8.
“Our financial needs are serious; we can’t get away with it,” North Olmsted City Superintendent of Schools David J. Brand said. “We have already made significant cuts. Any further reduction would be catastrophic. We know we can provide better education at lower cost to our taxpayers through this combined levy.
If approved, the November ballot — which will cost a $100,000 owner $22.75 a month — will not only cover future operations, but also the construction of the new $58 million PreK-5 building. dollars on the current location of Birch Elementary School.
As to why the district is hoping for a different outcome from the May results, the superintendent said it has to do with the clarity and timing of the fall ballot.
“May had some challenges,” Brand said. “There was some confusion about the possibility of communicating a date.
“We now know that we will be in the polls on November 8. This allows the Levy Committee to have a lot more time to go out, go door to door and make sure people are fully informed about the plan and how it benefits all of North Olmsted now and in the future. .
In addition to closing Forest and Spruce elementary schools, the district last year made cuts of more than $3 million. This includes reductions in staff, transportation to state minimum bus transportation, course budgets and offerings, and increased attendance fees.
Currently in its 11th year without additional local funding, district forecasts show that by the end of 2025, it will be completely short of funds. A missed levy means further cuts which the superintendent says would have a huge impact on education without solving the problem.
In related news, the district is using the $4 million it receives from the sale of the schools to cover the purchase of a 3-acre hotel property on Lorain Road which, when removed, gives the elementary school Birch access to busy thoroughfare.
The remaining dollars will be rolled into the combined levy amount, which is why the district — despite rising costs — is able to get back to voters for the same request.
The superintendent noted that these are precarious times for schools in the town of North Olmsted.
“The district has done a phenomenal job using its funds and cutting more than 100 staff members since the last time an operating tax was passed,” Brand said.
“We have to make sure we get out there and educate the community and give them opportunities to make sure they understand everything that’s at stake but more importantly what’s the benefit because it’s about a very special levy. It will end up being the least expensive option for our community now and in the future.
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