Prepared Text for Board Meeting –
Marc A. Schare
We as a community have been discussing the concepts of sustainability and affordability since the failure of the 2006 operating levy. When discussing these topics, we need to answer at least three questions. How much, how often and for what?
Regardless of the value
Here are some statistics.
For the period from 2000 through 2005, school district expenditures increased
11% while our enrollment dropped by around 8%. Still, averaging a 2% per year
increase is not bad for government work. According to the Ohio Department of
The recently approved 5
year forecast shows a spending increase in the range of 5 to 6% annually for
the life of the forecast. I think it would be wildly optimistic given the
current economy in the state to say that Worthington incomes will increase by 5
to 6% per year, so the question in front of us becomes – do we need to try to
limit school district spending to something approaching the income levels of
our constituents or do we accept that Worthington residents will have to pay a
higher percentage of their income to the school district in either increased
property taxes or an income tax. As we analyze this, we should keep in mind
that according to the Ohio Department of Taxation,
Predictably, I think we need to get at the answer through a community engagement process. While it may be tempting to blame the state, we should resist that temptation if for no other reason than any change to the funding formula is most likely to be negative for Worthington and any real chance for programmatic improvement will be dependent on the state leaving us and our funding alone.
We have about 8 months before going on the ballot. In that time, it is my hope that we offer multiple town hall style events that lay out the facts surrounding school district revenue and expenses and try to get at the heart of the question of what is sustainable and what is affordable. I believe if we do that, the justification will take care of itself.