Parent Update – November 8, 2009
Board of Education Takes First Step Toward Placing Operating Levy on February 2010 Ballot
The Olmsted Falls Board of Education met on Thursday, November 5th at 7:oo PM in public session in order to discuss the results of the November 3rd vote on the 6.4 mill operating levy. At this meeting, the Board of Education took the first step in placing an operating levy on the February 2010 ballot by passing several resolutions. Note: Ohio Law dictates that the first resolution for placing an operating levy on the February ballot occur on or before November 9th.
After exploring a financial model that encompassed several assumptions (examples: future health care premium rate increases, number of teachers rehired should a levy pass, likely cut in funding from the State of Ohio in the summer of 2010) the Board of Education passed five resolutions asking the Cuyahoga County auditor to certify the of amount revenue that would be generated from a 7.9, 8.2, 8.4, 8.7, and 8.9 mill levy. According to Board of Education projections, only the 8.7 and 8.9 mill levies would allow the District to remain “in the black” through the 2013 school year.
The Board of Education has scheduled another public meeting on Wednesday, November 11th at 7:00 PM at the Board of Education building (white ranch house in front of Olmsted Falls High School) to again examine these financial projections. It is expected that the Board of Education will pass the second and final resolution necessary to place an operating levy on the February 2010 ballot (as the deadline for this action is November 19th).
Comments on Blog
It was great to see nearly 70 comments posted to the last blog post. Nearly 3,900 “visits to this blog” have occurred since the November 4th post. That is my goal for this blog, to present information to the members of the Olmsted community and allow for public discussion. As time allows, it is my intention to post responses to some of the posted comments, however, time does not allow for this at the present time.
While the District has offered several public meetings (both evening and weekend meetings were held) over the past two months in order to provide the members of our community with information on the financial operation of the school system, it is somewhat disheartening to read through several posted comments and discover truly how much misinformation or lack of understanding still exists in our community.
One major area of confusion obviously still exists regarding the construction revenue that was generated by the passage of the 2 mill bond issue in May 2007. This 2 mill bond issue generated approximately $16,000,000 and these funds were utilized for the construction of the new Intermediate School.
Hopefully you remember that the District was able to utilize this $16,000,000 of local funding as matching funds for an Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) program that awarded the District an additional $7,700,000. This information was shared in writing to all residents of the community in a Business Report which was mailed to homes in March 2008. This $7,700,000 is being utilized to build 20 additional classrooms onto Olmsted Falls Middle School.
Some have questioned why the District did not utilize the revenue from the 2007 Bond Issue, or the $7.7 million from the OSFC, to help cover the pending deficit in the District’s General Fund. Simply stated, this would not be a legal use for this money as it was passed by the Olmsted community for the purpose of construction. (Note: the language that appears on the ballot is called the purpose statement and clearly defines how the revenue generated by a tax issue may be used.)
Other community members seem to be confused when looking at the overall financial statements of the District and believe that this District has more money than it is stating. (Note: the District is audited on an annual basis by the Auditor of the State of Ohio and the results of these audits are available online.)
The quick answer to this is that the District’s financial statements show investments for both the General Fund and the Construction Fund. While each of these funds show up on the District’s books, the money from each fund cannot be combined. Simply stated, one fund is for the operation of the District and another fund is for payment to the contractors who are building the Intermediate School and Middle School addition. In order to see the present condition of the Olmsted Falls General Fund, and the projections of this fund over the next five years, please click here.
We look forward over the coming months to continue to hold community meetings so that the members of the Olmsted community can continue to learn about the financial operation of the Olmsted Falls City Schools.
Donuts with Dad
We are extremely blessed at Olmsted Falls schools to have a very active PTA that continually looks for ways to link our parents, students, and the school system together. Last week, our Falls-Lenox PTA sponsored Donuts with Dad. Here are some pictures from this event:
Olmsted Falls Varsity Wrestling – It is not just about winning, it is about “giving back.”
Annually, the Olmsted Falls varsity wrestling team is one of the strongest programs in NE Ohio. Our coaching staff, led by Head Coach Mr. McGrain, not only works to develop quality wrestlers, but the entire coaching staff also prioritize “giving back to the Olmsted community” as a way to develop quality young men. Last week, as part of their preseason conditioning program, our wrestlers raked leaves for several residents in the OF communities. Here are some pictures:
Statewide School Levy Results
Last week, several school districts from around the state of Ohio were on the ballot asking voters to approve various kinds of tax levies. While the overall passage rate, statewide, was 56.98%, the percentage of new operating money issues receiving voter approval dropped to 28.57%.
The following are the results for the various types of tax issues:
New Current Expense: 4 of 16 approved (25.00%)
Renewal Current Expense: 13 of 13 approved (100.00%)
Replacement Current Expense: 4 of 6 approved (66.67%)
New Substitute Tax levy: 2 of 2 approved (100.00%)
New Emergency: 4 of 22 approved (18.18%)
Renewal Emergency: 31 of 32 approved (96.88%)
Replacement Emergency: 1 of 1 approved (100.00%)
New Traditional Income Tax: 2 of 3 approved (66.67%)
Renewal Traditional Income Tax: 8 of 9 approved (88.89%)
New Earned Income Tax: 2 of 6 approved (33.33%)
Renewal Earned Income Tax: 0 of 1 approved (0.00%)
Repeal of Traditional Income Tax: 0 of 1 approved (0.00%)
New Permanent Improvement: 3 of 15 approved (20.00%)
Renewal Permanent Improvement: 15 of 16 approved (93.75%)
Replacement Permanent Improvement: 4 of 4 approved (100.00%)
New Bond Issues: 13 of 39 approved (33.33%)
The total count of issues for this analysis is based on the list provided by the Office of the Ohio Secretary of State. Please also know that some issues, like the Olmsted Falls levy, were extremely close, and some outcomes may change following the official count in each county and any necessary recounts.