November 15, 2019
I am emailing with an update regarding the ongoing discussions about district finances and the timing of the upcoming operating levy. The Board of Education met again earlier this week to discuss and determine: (1) the exact timing of the upcoming operating levy, (2) the type of levy and (3) the amount of the levy. The discussion was detailed and thoughtful in each of these areas. The Board reached a decision on the timing and type of levy. A continuous operating levy will be placed on the March 17, 2020 election ballot. Money generated from this kind of levy directly provides the fuel needed to pay for our academic, arts and athletic programs (our Triple A).
The exact amount of the operating levy is still being reviewed and discussed. The school district has not gone to the community for a tax increase to support our Triple A programming since 2010. It is important that we remain mindful of our taxpayers throughout this process. The Board has delayed going to the voters for additional resources until it was absolutely necessary. We have now reached the point of necessity.
The need for overall reductions in district expenses was also part of the Board’s discussion. Examples of initial cost-saving measures that will be implemented during the current 2019-2020 school year were reviewed, along with a list of preliminary reductions to take effect with the start of the 2020-2021 school year regardless of whether a levy passes or not. These initial reductions are operational in nature. They will save money and keep the student experience intact. They will allow us to go to voters for a lower levy amount.
The School Board has directed me to identify further cost-savings. These reductions have not been finalized by the Board. As the district goes through this process, please remember that our core business is people providing a service. Eighty percent of the district’s budget pays for the people and the services they deliver to our students each day. We are working hard to save money, and at the same time maintain the current level of our students’ Triple A experience. If an operating issue passes, we will be able to do that. If it does not, it will have a significant impact on the student experience.
I have worked for this school district for 12 years and have been an Olmsted resident for seven. I believe in what we do and how we do it. The district will be on the ballot on March 17, 2020 and the vitality of our academic, arts and athletic programs will be at stake. Passing a levy in our school district will take monumental effort. The next Board meeting is set to take place on November 25th. At that time, the Board will deliberate further on the exact millage that is likely to be selected for the March 17, 2020 ballot.
Keeping our community updated is important. Our promise is to create many opportunities to meet with you in order to tell our story. I would like to meet with members of the community to share information, answer any questions, and listen to feedback. Please reach out to me at 440-427-6001 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in meeting with me individually or in a small group setting.
Again, I encourage you to reach out with any questions you may have in the days and weeks to come. You will hear directly from me again with an update following the November 25th meeting.
Dr. Jim Lloyd, Superintendent
Olmsted Falls City School District
26937 Bagley Rd.
Olmsted Township, OH 44138
The above communication was emailed directly to all Olmsted Falls School District families on 11/15/19.