Both state funding and the levy schedule are cited as the reasons the Dublin City School District put Issue 15 on the fall ballot.

Both state funding and the levy schedule are cited as the reasons the Dublin City School District put Issue 15 on the fall ballot.

The combined 7.2-mill operating levy and $25-million bond issue, which will appear as one vote in Issue 15, would cost an additional $244 per $100,000 of assessed property value annually if approved. Early voting started Oct. 4.

Superintendent David Axner said Issue 15, would help the district maintain its academic excellence.

"A couple of key points that keep resonating, when we've been out speaking with residents, we've been reminding people we're the highest-achieving district in Franklin County," he said, noting that while keeping up academics, the district has had to address uncertainties in state funding. "We know we will be getting less state money versus more in the coming year. Couple that with additional students, which we've picked up 1,250 in the last five years, with less state funding; that makes a pretty good argument on why districts like Dublin need to come back to the ballot."

According to district treasurer Stephen Osborne, state funding has decreased from $16 million to $12.8 million over the past five years while the district has seen enrollment increase by more than 1,250 students.

The district's bottom line also has faced challenges from the reduction of tangible-personal-property-tax reimbursements from the state, from a decrease in revenue from interest earnings and from inflation, Osborne said.

TPPT reimbursements could be reduced even further. Before the recent two-year state budget was approved, Dublin City Schools received about $10 million a year. When the biennial budget wraps up next year, the district will see $4 million, Osborne said.

"That's an uncertainty in the future," he said. "I would venture to say we probably won't (keep getting that), but we can't take that out of the forecast because the decision hasn't been made yet."

Issue 15 also means the school board is following a promise made to voters when the most recent bond-levy issue was passed in 2008.

"Our board of education has maintained the commitment they made in 2008 not to come back to voters until 2011, with collections not being made until 2013, and they've done that," Osborne said.

If Issue 15 passes, district leaders have said, it would fund the distict until June 2016. Keeping on the cycle could mean a smaller tax issue then, Axner said.

"Our plan is to work hard to bring the millage down for the next levy cycle," he said. "We're really in a position to do that. It also depends on state and federal cuts, but we have achieved the cash balance we need at the end of the levy cycle, and if we continue to go on the track of saving the dollars we have, we will have the opportunity to come out with less millage in 2016."