Prepared Text for Board Meeting – July 9, 2007

Marc A. Schare, 614 791-0646 Home

614 791-0067 Work.  marc9@aol.com

 

 

Today, I offer 3 legislative updates.

 

First, HB119, the Ohio budget, is complete. As expected, the transitional aid guarantee was included, thus, Worthington’s revenues will increase by approximately 6.63 million dollars over the biennium the next time we reissue a 5 year forecast, all things being equal. Of significant concern is the elimination of the other guarantees that Worthington has enjoyed in the past, including the reappraisal guarantee and the formula aid guarantee. While redundant, our previous treasurer believed that these guarantees served as important backup should the legislature ever make the transitional aid guarantee a target for future cuts. As always, we must remain vigilant and alert.

 

Second, Ohio law now contains a blanket $25,000 homestead exemption for senior citizens, however, there is a catch. You must apply to receive your exemption. While it is not technically our responsibility, I think it is in our best interests to make sure, to the extent possible, that eligible Worthington School District residents do, in fact, apply for the exemption. Depending on the city and/or township, your mileage will vary, but in Olde Worthington, with an effective millage of 64 mills, our seniors can expect to save around $492.

 

Third, an amazing thing last week in Philadelphia. Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama gave a speech to the National Education Association and came out in favor of differentiated pay for teachers of math, science and special education, and merit pay for increased student performance. You could probably count on one hand the topics that Senator Obama and I would agree on, but he makes a lot of sense here. Wouldn’t it be great if Worthington, working in full collaboration with the WEA, could show Ohio and the nation that Senator Obama’s proposals could have a truly positive effect on student achievement and employee morale.

 

Finally, I would be remiss if I failed to note the failure of the “Getting it Right” campaign to get the constitutional amendment on the ballot in 2007. While I know that my advocacy on this issue has been grating on just about everyone in the room, the consequences of such a destructive proposal could not be ignored. The education groups are split on whether to bring the proposal back in 2008 or to try and craft a legislative solution that would have broad based support. I hope the powers that be choose wisely. While the amendment is going away for a while, the problems highlighted by its backers still exist. I think this board can and should have a role in crafting a solution that will help all Ohioans.