A permanent improvement levy for the Wellington school district could be on the horizon for November.
“This is not a levy to cover the cost of any salaries, wages, or benefits,” said district superintendent Dennis Mock. “This is to cover fixing and replacing our buses, roof maintenance, updating textbooks, and other issues that help village students.”
As few as three to four years ago, the district received up to $90,000 from the state when the time came to replace a bus.
Now that number is zero, according to Mock.
“It was all part of the Kasich plan,” he said, referencing reductions in Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s biennial budget. “He made these cuts to balance the state’s budget. Now, we must compensate accordingly. The bodies of buses wear out faster than the inner mechanics.”
State funding for Ohio public schools, which enroll 90 percent of the state’s students, has declined by $500 million under Kasich’s watch, while funding for charter schools has increased by 27 percent.
Charter schools now receive more state funding per student than public schools in Ohio, according to The Washington Post.
Kasich promised to reform the charter school system in 2014, but so far legislative efforts have not produced any results.
“These cuts have drawn on funds that public school districts across Ohio had drawn into their five-year forecasts,” said Mock. “Besides making it more difficult for public districts to replace buses and textbooks, they have also cut into the ability of programs like College Credit Plus to do the job for students that they used to.”
Nothing has been put on paper yet in terms of the amount needed to be raised by the levy.
The school board will next meet May 17, followed by a maintenance committee meeting the following day.
Those sessions will give educators a chance to draw a clearer picture of what the next step will be, according to Mock.
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.
Jonathan Delozier | Civitas Media A proposed permanent improvement levy would allow the Wellington school system to repair and replace buses.