Hilliard Northwest News

Hilliard Schools Connection

District won't avoid 'tough questions' about money

Saturday November 16, 2013 7:32 PM

The 1966 Broadway production of Cabaret introduced the lyrics, "Money makes the world go 'round."

In public education, money is at the center of nearly every conversation. Money pays the talented, dedicated professionals who serve our students on a daily basis; money keeps the lights on and the heat running; and money maintains the community's investment in our buildings and grounds.

While it's not all about the money in education, strong fiscal management and confidence that future budgetary needs will be addressed permits the district to really focus on our mission: ensuring that every student is Ready for Tomorrow.

The Hilliard school district has diligently focused on maintaining the investment of our taxpayers. We realize that each citizen, each household is also operating on a budget.

Just as you seek to make decisions based upon your financial resources, we, too, want to stretch each dollar. Our district very much appreciates the continued support from the community; you have permitted the district to focus on maintaining quality education while protecting your financial investment in the schools.

It is with great pride that our district is able to extend the promise from the 2011 levy campaign. The support provided in 2011 will not only serve to educate students through 2014 as planned; it will provide sufficient resources to educate our young people until at least 2015. We understand the importance of keeping our promise and we seek to inspire confidence in our management of public dollars.

As we plan for the future, we want to hear from you.

In 2014, Hilliard City Schools will seek community input on future financial decisions. Our current operating funds are stagnant; we will need to make plans for future tax levies. Our current facilities require upkeep -- roofs need to be replaced and parking lots must be resurfaced and maintained.

My goal, as your superintendent, is to have these important discussions when we are not on the ballot. My desire is to have conversations, to purposefully gather information and to study potential options prior to approaching our community with a request for additional revenue.

Great schools are the product of strong communities; strong communities are the byproduct of great schools. We can't have a strong community without a mutual commitment to the education of our young people.

The foundation of this interdependence is built upon open and honest communication. We want to empower you, our community, to have a voice in our future needs. While it is evident we will not all always agree, we must have the conversation. We must embrace our diverse community and respect opposing viewpoints. We must model purposeful decision-making and seek long-range planning.

Money does provide wonderful learning opportunities for our children. Conversations about money can be a challenge, but that doesn't mean we should shy away from them.

We must embrace the tough questions and empower our community to build consensus to keep our schools strong and continue to provide a great value to our community.

The Hilliard Schools Connection column is provided to ThisWeek Hilliard Northwest News by Superintendent John Marschhausen. Read more about the Hilliard schools on the Get Connected blog at www.hilliardschools.org/category/get-connected/.

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