School Board To Decide On Levy With State Funding Uncertainty Looming

Twinsburg school officials are still uncertain about a seemingly large boost in state aid in the next year's budget.

The Twinsburg Board of Education has to make a tough decision in the next few weeks on whether they should proceed with a levy on the May ballot.

The school board is seeking residents' opinions on what it should do. A public forum is scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 27 at R.B. Chamberlin Middle School to discuss questions surrounding state education funding and the local levy decision.

Earlier this month, Gov. John Kasich released his education funding proposal, which supposedly would give Twinsburg Schools a whopping $2.8 million more in 2013, or a 104 percent increase in state funding.

Right now, district officials have too many questions and are leery of trusting the numbers. Kasich's proposal is destined to change as the state legislature starts to haggle out a two-year budget, which should be finalized in June.

And there's the rub. Between now and June, when the state budget picture becomes clear, Twinsburg residents are set to vote on a 6.9-mill renewal levy in May.

The school board has to decide by March 15 whether it wants to continue with holding the renewal levy in May.

The district has numerous concerns about the proposal, but basically they are concerned that the state aid numbers aren't what they appear to be or that the state will turn around and take from elsewhere, essentially negating the increase.

Twinsburg officials are righly concerned about whether the perception of a big windfall from the state will impact voters at the ballot box.

"The fact is there are a lot of questions still hanging out about the Achievement Everywhere proposal," said Superintendent Karthryn Powers about Kasich's education plan.

School board members point out that even if the state fund boost happens, its still only a 6 percent increase in the district's roughly $40 million budget.

Here's the numbers in Kasich's plan:

2013 2014 Increase 2015 Increase Twinsburg $2,677,312 $5,465,921 104.16%  $6,832,401 25%

Last fall, Twinsburg taxpayers approved new levy dollars to fund the schools, with 54 percent of voters supporting the new tax dollars.

The 6.9-mill renewal levy scheduled for a vote in May would generate $4.4 million annually. An affirmative vote by residents in May would make the levy more permanent because the levy will now be continually funded and not up for vote every five years.

Carl S February 21, 2013 at 12:12 PM
Is the levy your referring to the renewal one, that if passed, turns into a premanate one? If so, it should be stated as such. Agree? And the VOTERS should have the right to know this? I'll wait for your response. Thanks.
Chris Mazzolini February 21, 2013 at 01:48 PM
Hi Carl S: That's the levy I'm referring to. I did not mention that in this article, but I have in numerous other article I have done about the upcoming levy. I will add a line so everything is clear.
The Truth February 21, 2013 at 01:58 PM
Two years ago this BOE couldn't wait to put on a levy, even when people in the community told them to wait. The BOE plowed ahead and put on an unneeded levy. Now they are questioning the State on getting an additional $7+ million. This BOE is losing any credibility it had by their actions. It was a total over reaction 2 years ago and I expect the same this time from the BOE. It sounds like this BOE is getting bad advice from the Superintendent and Treasurer or is just ignorant about school finances. When the 2013-2014 financial report comes out, Twinsburg will have over $25 in reserve. When the 2014-2015 financial report comes out, Twinsburg will have well over $33 million in reserve. How much money does this BOE need to run the district? All the employees took a 2 year wage freeze for 2013-2015. The district will have only minimal increases in expenses during this these 2 years, but will have a HUGE increase in revenues. This BOE is mismanaging the finances in the district.
Carl S February 21, 2013 at 06:23 PM
? I must have missed the line you added? FOLKS, this levy is NOT a renewal. It will make this levy permenate. A forever tax.
Carl S February 21, 2013 at 06:29 PM
It all sounds great to stand up and shout, "Support Our Schools" !! I do also, but geeze. Its levy after levy. And if it fails, they take our tax money and keep putting it back to the voters, over and over. Does anyone ask why they dont NEED to live within their means? Am I the only one who questions why they stockpile the money? The BOE doesnt give a rats behind about the citizens/voters. Just more,more,more. By voting YES this time, wont stop the next one either. More,more,more.... When is enough....enough?


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