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Green district seeking levy renewal

4/17/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Maria Lindsay

GREEN — Green Local School District officials are asking voters to approve Issue No. 3, the renewal of a five-year, 6.01-mill emergency levy on the May 6 Primary Election ballot.

According to district Treasurer Eydie Snowberger, the levy, which expires Dec. 31, costs the owner of a $100,000 home $185 annually and raises $4.1 million annually to fund the district’s general operations. General operations include costs such as salaries, transportation, textbooks, purchased services and supplies, according to district officials. An emergency levy collects a fixed dollar amount, the cost of which is spread among residents in the district, and is based on property valuations, according to district officials.

The levy was first approved by voters in 1995. Superintendent Jeff Miller stressed the renewal levy is not a new tax or an increase and added that the five-year revenue represents one-third of the district’s budget in the five-year forecast.

“We see our taxpayers as investors, and when they look at fiscal responsibility and student achievement in the district, they will see a high rate of return for their investment,” said Miller. “We are good stewards of taxpayer money, and student achievement is extremely high.”

Miller provided the following information based on 2013 statistics: 71 percent of the district’s budget was spent on classroom instruction, which ranks Green Local Schools 12 out 112 Ohio districts with similar enrollment; the district spends $1,046 less per pupil than the state average; the administration ratio is 243:1, and 96 percent of the districts in Ohio have more administrators; the district met 24 out of 24 indicators and had a 96 percent graduation rate on the state report card.

“We are tops,” said Miller. “In addition, we have implemented reductions to save money, reduced purchased services and supply costs, share services, and through attrition, we have not replaced staff, which has saved us $900,000 since July 2013.”

In addition, the treasurer received an award in 2012 for having “not one single blemish on the audit.”

Miller said district officials are not taking anything for granted when it comes to the levy.

“We want to respect our voters,” he said. “But if the levy fails, we lose one-third of the five-year budget, which is significant. In reality, cuts would have to be made across the board.”

Miller stated collection for an approved levy does not begin until after six months has passed, so if the levy fails, and the district does not put another levy on the ballot until November, that puts “a big whole in the budget.”

“There are really good things going on in Green schools and we want to continue these programs and opportunities,” he said.

District officials will host a community forum to provide more information about the levy April 30 at 7 p.m. in the Green High School Library, located at 1474 Boettler Road.

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