Gov. John Kasich recently released his state budget, which will be debated and deliberated by the Ohio General Assembly through June 30.
As local leaders have forecasted and expected, additional revenue from the state is not likely for the Grandview Heights City School District. Under the current proposal, our school district would lose the most annual funding on a per-pupil basis -- $684 -- among Franklin County districts.
Ohio's school-funding system is based on a theory of "shared responsibility." The amount of state funds an individual district receives is based on a formula that takes into account student enrollment and the property wealth of the district.
The challenge is that the formula often is changed, capped or "phased in" every two years by lawmakers as part of the budget process. In addition, districts lost a significant revenue source with the elimination of the tangible personal property tax. For more than 10 years, the state of Ohio has reimbursed school districts for the loss of this local tax, but now those payments are being phased out.
In addition, 2017 is a re-evaluation year by the Franklin County auditor, meaning residents will see changes in home values and possibly their property-tax bills. But existing property-tax law, known as House Bill 920, does not allow school districts to receive additional revenue. Complex, isn't it?
While state legislators continue to wrestle with funding education in Ohio, the district is committed to remaining fiscally responsible and will work hard to live within its means. We also recognize that public schools will have to depend on the support of local taxpayers to maintain excellence, and we are extremely grateful for your continued support year after year.
Despite these challenges, the Grandview Heights City School District remains a great value. The district has one of the lowest school-tax rates in central Ohio, which translates into lower property taxes for excellent schools.
Since the founding of our district more than a century ago, the district has been defined by a strong and supportive community, a sense of tradition and a commitment to excellence. Our success can be attributed to the hard work of our staff and students and the support of our families and residents.
As the legislature works on the state budget, know we will continue to advocate on behalf of Grandview Heights schools for fair funding of our district.
Beth Collier is treasurer of the Grandview Heights City School District.