In the direction of sustainability

In the direction of sustainability

Soon the long days of summer will evaporate into football games on Friday nights. In the stadium stands, we can see a basic truth: our schools and community are inextricably tied. In the sea of Panther blue and white, the preschooler and the alum from the 1970s, the cheerleader and the local business owner, the excited pee-wee player wearing his first jersey and the senior in the student section is almost indistinguishable. We are there for one purpose and we are all on the same side. 

Public schools serve the community. The community funds and supports public schools. The partnership between our schools and community can be described in many ways. It is a legislated relationship. It is a traditional bonding. It is symbiotic. It is real.

The Springboro school district stands in an almost unheard of position today. Even after plans to invest millions in technology, curriculum, buildings and buses, and even after providing every employee with raises, we are financially prepared to give something back to the taxpayer – to give back to our community by reducing their tax burden. The renewal levy on the ballot in November will be set at a lower millage rate to reduce taxes generated by that levy by nearly 15 percent.

With every step, we are proving that this district with its record of excellence is sustainable with an even lower tax burden. This is almost unheard of in school or local government today. The idea seems so foreign to some that there is even a call in our community to keep the renewal for the full amount.

There is an assumption that if we are cutting the taxes; we must be cutting back in our schools. This is simply FALSE.  The following needs are in the current budget through 2017:

         •        high school busing restored

•        over $2 million in text books and new adoptions

         •        over 2.1 million for new buses

         •        over $3.7 million in capital needs and deferred maintenance

•        over $1.5 million in technology (100% WiFi, 1,000 computers, 350 teacher laptops)

•        over $7.5 million for our staff in raises and benefit changes


These are met in the five-year forecast even with the lower renewal levy. This reduction of almost 15 percent millage is equal to $1,353,800 per year that we are giving back to our community.

How is this possible?

         •        The May 2013 five-year forecast included a surplus of    $7.55 million in 2017.

         •        After the approval of contracts with the teachers, classified and exempt staff, the five-year forecast still reveals a surplus of $7.2 million in 2017.

         •        Springboro Community City Schools will receive 6.5% more in 2013-2014 than in the previous year from the State of Ohio (approximately $828,000) as well as 10.5% more in 2014-2015 (approximately $1.2 million).

         •        Since 2012, 2013, the district has received $3.5 million per year as a result of a pipeline that has been completed.

         •        A second pipeline is possible; however, the district’s current forecast assumptions DO NOT include the additional funding it may bring to the district.

Not only have we proven that we can live within our means, but now every person in this district—our children and families, our staff and teachers, and the taxpayers–will benefit.

This is significant when placed in the context of five failed levies that sought to raise our taxes by up to $45,000,000. Our community sent a clear message again and again that there could be no new taxes. The board—elected by that same community—remembers that we are all on the same side in the pursuit of true educational attainment.  As it became clear through our due diligence into the finances of the district that we could meet our needs with less money, the board voted to request lower millage in the renewal levy in November.

If you budget $300 for a monthly car payment but you find the car you need with every option for $250, do you tell the dealer you’d still like to pay more? Of course not. We’re not selling a rundown clunker at the reduced price. We are meeting and exceeding state mandates as well as local expectations. We are building a technology backbone, investing in computers, curriculum, buses and buildings – we are putting children first.  Most important, we are being honest about what is needed through 2017. This is reform at the local level, and this is working together toward sustainability.

Advertisements

7 Responses to In the direction of sustainability

  1. School District Voter says:

    The way I see it, we are successful and our school district truly does have it all, except the discipline of each individual citizen to rise above the little things, that really don’t matter at all!
    Since January 2012, I have seen in our public school board meetings, trivial issues take center stage, as if the promotion and celebration of disrespect for the rule of authority is a celebration of “democracy!” This is stretching the fabric of our souls, pitting the young against the old,
    degrading our beliefs and values of the good life and the American dream, by these continuous demands by some of our neighbors that we must individually sacrifice our all, for the collective investment in our government-indoctrinated public schools. One resolution I have made, and try alsways to keep it this: to remind myself that as sannoying as the minior problems

    • School District Voter says:

      The way I see it, we are successful and our school district truly does have it all, except the discipline of each individual citizen to rise above the little things, that really don’t matter at all! Since January 2012, I have seen in our public school board meetings, trivial issues take center state, as if the promotion and celebration of distrespect for the rule of authority is a celebration of “democracy!” This is stretching the fabric of our souls, pitting the young against the old, degrading our beliefs and values of the good life and the American dream, by these continuous demands by some of our neighbors that we must individually sacrifice our all, for the collective investment in our government-indoctrinated public schools. One resolution I have made, and try always to keep is this: to remind myself that as annoying as the minor problems are, I amnot going to fret about them. God Bless America! and May God Bless You and Your Family!

  2. sassypatriot says:

    Mr. Petroni you and the board have worked to improve the school district with diligence and respect. I cannot say the same for many of the district’s employees. It would be nice if the union would try to see what is in the best interests of the students and the property owners. Far too often the negotiations seem to be selfishly motivated. I do applaud your accomplishments during your short tenure. Thank you for your efforts.

  3. markinspringboro says:

    Thank you so much for sending the mailer which explains how this November’s district renewal levy has been set at a lower millage. After failing 5 consecutive levies, this 15% rollback is just the olive branch many in this community need in order to finally come together and genuinely support Springboro schools this November Over the past two years, our schools have enjoyed a tremendous amount of new additions, and this has been accomplished without breaking the bank. This is largely because our administration and school board makes careful decisions with the use of data. Unlike previous boards, this board’s decision making processess are not governed by “feelings”.

  4. DALLAS POWERS says:

    I HAVE A QUESTION CONCERNING THE RENEWAL LEVY. WHILE THE MILLAGE MAY BE REDUCED, THAT DOES NOT NECESSARILY RESULT IN A DOLLAR REDUCTION IN ONES REAL ESTATE TAX BILL. THE REDUCED MILLAGE WILL BE APPLIED TO A HIGHER APPRAISED VALUE EVERY THREE YEARS.
    IF I AM INCORRECT PLEASE FULLY EXPLAIN HOW AND WHY.

    • jrigano says:

      @Dallas Powers: For a certain types of levies you would be correct. In this case, we are actually rolling back the amount to be collected by $1.4 million per year, not millage. Because the type of levy expiring is an “emergency” levy it is for a fixed dollar amount (was $9.3M, will be $7.8M per year if passed). Changes in valuation do not effect the amount collected on this levy. It’s worth noting that “continuing” levies like you describe have been passed in the past, and those are affected by valuation. So if valuations increase, an individual homeowner may see an increase, but not because of this levy. This one is a bonafide decrease; the district will collect $7.8M per year, period, on this one.

      • DALLAS POWERS says:

        JRIGANO:
        THANK YOU, I ACCEPT YOUR EXPLANATION AS ACCURATE. SAID DETAIL IS NOT KNOWN BY THE VOTING PUBLIC AND I HAVE NOT RECEIVED A MAILING DESCRIBING THE LEVY AS YOU EXPLAINED IN YOUR REPLY.

        ARE YOU A PRESENT MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION, IF SO ARE YOU SEEKING RE-ELECTION? IF YOU ARE NOT A CANIDATE WHO ARE YOU SUPPORTING FOR ELECTION TO THE BOARD OF EBUCATION?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: