Administrators at Elida Local Schools are running out of tricks when it comes to offering a quality educational experience on minimal funding.
There are just so many cuts that a school system can endure before its students have only the very basics to prepare them for the future. The Elida School district is at that threshold heading into Tuesday’s election. The following facts underscore the dire situation:
• Over the last 10 years, Elida has eliminated 43 positions. At that same time, student enrollment has remained the same.
• Elida’s per pupil spending is lower than 90 percent of schools in the state.
• Elida has just 93 class offerings in high school compared to 219 offered by standard bearer Dublin Coffman.
• It has been eight years since the district asked for new operating money.
• Elida has lost $2.3 million in revenue while cutting $2.8 million worth of expenses the past five years.
Something has to give.
We encourage voters to support Elida’s five-year, 5.95 mill property tax levy and 1-mill permanent improvement renewal levy on Tuesday’s ballot. It is not an excessive request, in fact, the $2.1 million won’t be enough to end the cuts mentioned above. What it will do is create a stable five-year financial plan for the school. A yes vote will cost voters of a $50,000 home just $7.50 more a month.
Sixty percent of voters rejected a similar levy in November, thus it won’t be easy to pass the issue. But those voting “no” should understand the consequences of their action: There will be more cuts that likely could include the loss of full-day kindergarten, reducing a high school language arts teacher, science teacher and foreign language teacher as well as a middle school foreign language. It will put more kids in study hall (with nothing to study) instead of the classroom.
On Tuesday, we’ll find out if Elida residents value their schools, or if it is time for Elida to begin marketing its community as a place where it is OK to do the minimum.