On the Nov. 8 ballot, Hilliard City Schools residents will see the district's request for 4.5 mills of operating dollars and a $50 million bond issue (combined in one issue).

On the Nov. 8 ballot, Hilliard City Schools residents will see the district's request for 4.5 mills of operating dollars and a $50 million bond issue (combined in one issue).

We feel it is important to be open and honest so residents can make an informed decision. I hope you have had the time to review the information district leaders have provided so you have the facts regarding the impact of Issue 58 on our schools and community.

The most recent permanent operating levy was approved in 2011 and was expected to cover expenses for three years until more funding was needed. Hilliard City Schools stretched those dollars for five years, thanks in part to a great collaboration with our employees. We've made changes to health-care systems that have saved significant dollars. We also are doing things differently in our daily operations by using technology more and reducing our reliance on expensive printed textbooks.

The bond money would be used for significant repairs at all buildings across the district to ensure they stay safe, warm and dry. Also, with the district expecting to add 1,000 students to the overall enrollment within the next five years, the bond would be used to build a new school building to provide more classroom space.

Without these funds, the district will bring in trailers to have enough space for students. These temporary classrooms would create real challenges for learning. Because they are not attached to the actual school building, students must walk outside in all types of weather. They create security concerns because doors must be left unlocked so students can walk back and forth between the trailers and the main building. Technology can be challenging because of the location of the trailer in relation to the rest of the infrastructure. They simply are a Band-Aid to a very real classroom space and school-repair problem.

If Issue 58 is rejected, the district also will cut 60 staff positions, including 48 teachers. These cuts would affect every school and every grade, kindergarten through 12. One of the effects could be larger class sizes.

On Nov. 8, residents will make a choice on what the future of Hilliard City Schools looks like.

If approved by voters, the level of excellence that many residents have told us they want will continue.

If it fails, the school board will honor the community decision and move forward with the reductions.

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/.