As a taxpayer residing in the Elida Local School District, I’ve learned about school-funding issues beyond the district’s ability to control:
• Overall costs for Special Education increased almost a quarter of a million dollars ($234,378) from the 2006-07 school year to 2008-09.
• Just this year, Ohio’s public schools were informed (in the form of another unfunded mandate) that fees could no longer be charged to students participating in the free lunch program. This will result in a $40,000 loss for Elida schools this year.
• As a result of the general state of the economy, Elida’s real estate tax revenue has declined because of delinquencies.
• Flat state funding continues to be a major concern. Elida’s state aid shows virtually no inflationary growth. The lack of inflationary growth will mean ongoing challenges as Elida’s expenses continue to increase.
Fiscally, these are just a few of the items beyond the ability of the district to control.
Despite these challenges, Elida Local School District has maintained fiscal stability through conservative stewardship of tax dollars. In other words, it has done an excellent job of controlling the costs/expenditures that are within their ability to control. I will be voting yes for the renewal of the emergency levy for Elida Schools on May 4. Passage of the renewal will bring no new expense to the taxpayers or revenue to the district.