PRINCETON CITY SCHOOLS POSTPONED LEVY, NOW PLANNING FOR NOVEMBER BALLOT ISSUE
The district focuses on communicating the urgent need, state funding to residents
The Princeton City Schools Board of Education took the first of two necessary votes at the July 22, 2019, board meeting to place a 4.25-mill operating levy on the November 5, 2019 ballot.
This request comes after the district postponed its initial ballot request for an operating levy until November 2019, citing the need for additional communications with its residents as reasons for the deferment.
“Through conversations with hundreds of community residents at dozens events throughout the school district, we overwhelmingly heard that they wanted more time to collect the facts in order to make an informed decision about the future of our schools,” said Tom Burton, superintendent of Princeton City Schools. “But the fact remains that, even though we continue to manage our finances in a conservative manner and look for ways to be more efficient every day, we are facing an urgent need for additional funding; that is just the way school funding works in our state.”
The district prolonged the preceding levy to last five years longer than expected and has cut over $26 million from its budget since 2004 to offset funding reductions from the state, maintaining almost flat revenue even though expenses are increasing as a result of increasing district enrollment.
Passage of the November operating levy will allow the district to maintain the well-rounded, quality academic programming for students that the community has come to expect as well as eliminate the need to make dramatic, district-wide cuts to programs and services, according to Mary Cleveland, board president.
“Cuts hurt our schools, they hurt our students and they hurt our community,” said President Cleveland. “If we must continue without additional funds, then we must make drastic reductions to the programming and services that we offer.”
District administrators and the board of education will begin identifying the cuts and reductions that will need to be made if the November ballot issue does not pass and will announce those in the fall.
President Cleveland reassures that these cuts are not just a threat. “This is the reality we face as a public school district in the state of Ohio. We must rely on the support of our residents to ensure we can provide a quality education that our community expects and our students deserve, an education that prepares and empowers each student for college, career, and life success.”
The 4.25-mill operating levy will cost taxpayers approximately $12 monthly per $100,000 in property market value. If passed, the collection will begin in 2020. This operating levy will fund the day-to-day operations of the district, such as staffing, utilities, and supplies. None of the funds from this levy will be used for the construction of new facilities.
To formally place a levy on the ballot, the Board of Education is required by the state of Ohio to pass two resolutions: a Resolution of Necessity and a Resolution to Proceed. A recommendation for the Resolution to Proceed will be included on the Special August 2nd board meeting agenda. For more information about the Princeton City School District or the November ballot issue, please visit the Levy Information tab on the website.
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You are invited to attend these public events. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and speak directly with Superintendent Tom Burton and Treasurer Chris Poetter.
August 28, 2019 - 8:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. Business & Community Partner Breakfast, Princeton High School, 100 Viking Way, Cincinnati, OH 45246
Past Public Opportunities:
Please click on Levy Coverage tab (in the left gray box) and go to Community Conversations/ Q&A with Superintendent Meetings to see previous events.