Voters need to remember two things in regards to renewal levies: Passage won’t increase taxes, but a levy’s failure can leave gaping holes in a school and community.
That’s why we recommend passage of the renewal levies being sought by five Allen County schools: Bath, Delphos, Lima, Perry and Spencerville.
These high-stakes levies provide the backbone to a school’s operation. They can bring in money in two ways.
For example, at Bath schools, the renewal levy will account for $3.7 million, or approximately 25 percent, of the district’s total operating budget. This amount includes $2.7 million generated from the levy and nearly $1 million in Tangible Personal Property reimbursements from the state. If the levy fails, Bath not only loses the $2.7 million raised locally, but the state reimbursement permanently goes away.
Each of the schools is targeting the money for general expenses and permanent improvements.
Lima City Schools’ renewal levy raises $1.27 million for general operations and $425,000 for permanent improvements. The general fund includes money for supplies, equipment, utilities, professional development and salaries and benefits.
The Ohio Department of Education recommends that school districts spend around 80 percent of their operating budgets on wages and benefits. Currently, Lima spends 71 percent of the operating budget on wages and benefits. All the schools in Allen County are either near or below that 80 percent mark.
Regardless of whether or not voters have children or grandchildren in school, it is important they remember the importance of good schools to a community.
• Build a stronger, better educated workforce.
• Help attract the talented, able people needed to run businesses and non-profits.
• Help attract and retain employers
Education does matter to all of us.