Olmsted Falls Frequently Asked Questions
Regarding School Improvement Bond Issue
on November 8, 2016 Ballot
Q. What is the Olmsted Falls City School District asking for?
A. Olmsted Falls City Schools is seeking a ZERO NEW TAXES school improvement bond issue that will not be used on school salaries or administration. Instead the issue will pay for upgrades to mechanical systems and school renovations so that money will not have to be diverted from the classroom teaching and instructional budget to make vital repairs.
Q. What will this issue cost?
A. The district is seeking a zero additional taxes combined bond and permanent improvement issue. This is possible because 5.5 mills of bond and permanent improvement money is expiring by the end of 2017. To ensure that the November bond issue does not raise taxes to residents, the district is only asking for 3.2 mills of bond and permanent improvement funds this fall. This results in zero additional taxes to taxpayers.
Q. How do we get school repairs without raising taxes?
A. By law, the money from this issue can only be spent on facilities and building repairs, and none of it can be used for school salaries or administration. The district is spreading the facility repair and improvement costs out over more time, so the amount of taxes homeowners have to pay each year will not increase. In addition, the bonds will be paid off over 35 years so that as new families move into the community, over time, they will contribute to paying them off.
Q. What will the school improvement bond levy do for our schools?
A. A number of our schools, especially the high school, are in need of mechanical upgrades and repairs. This issue will allow the district to:
- Upgrade mechanical systems, so money will not have to be diverted from the classroom teaching and instructional budget to make vital repairs;
- Ensure a suitable environment for learning, and avoid cutting teachers or programs to pay for needed repairs and construction;
- Provide infrastructure and computer systems in order to offer classes in the science, technology, engineering and math programs, which are vital to helping students get accepted to top colleges;
- Eliminate the need to hold classes in trailers any longer, since they require doors to remain unlocked so students can go back and forth to the main building, which makes both susceptible to unauthorized entry and security problems;
- Have advanced science and technology labs, like the ones used by most of the other top-rated nearby school districts;
- Upgrade electrical systems and wiring to better support classroom learning systems and technology that is essential to a modern education.
Q. What happens if the ballot issue does not pass?
A. If it does not pass then the district loses vital funds that are dedicated to facility repairs. This means decisions like whether to replace or make emergency repairs to things like a leaky roof, a parking lot with potholes or even plumbing would take away funds and even take precedence at times over what is needed in the classroom and opportunities for our students. It is the equivalent of making cuts to the classroom and instruction budget.
Q. How is this issue different than the two previous requests?
A. Simple, this issue does not raise taxes. This issue is only for school improvements and renovations. It allows the district to extend the life of our school facilities while also enhancing the quality of education we provide to our students. Because of the special financing Olmsted Falls City Schools is able to get all of these repairs without raising taxes to residents.
Q. What has Olmsted Falls City Schools done to watch the bottom line?
A. Plenty! Olmsted Falls is effective and efficient in our day-to-day operations. We have the third lowest expenditure per pupil out of the 30 school districts in Cuyahoga County.