by Robert Giuffre
I have been a proud Loveland resident for twenty-three years. As a retired public-school treasurer, having served four districts including Loveland, I am familiar with Loveland School’s fiscal operations and its needs in placing the November 5th levy on the ballot…While this levy request is certainly about numbers, I encourage you to read this article and consider critical aspects of this levy request. (Loveland Board of Education asks for combined 16.78-mill levy)
As a former school treasurer, I am well versed in school finance. I have been challenged throughout my career trying to explain how the laws governing school funding work and what their impact has been on school districts over the years. This redirection of tax-payer dollars by our legislators has fallen on our lap to explain. We have had little or no input on preserving the level of school funding voted and approved by our community. These legislative decisions cost Ohio school districts millions of dollars each
a year and are almost impossible to explain to stakeholders. All I would ask of you is to consider that your feelings about this levy are not fully directed at the leadership of this district. Please understand your legislators’ responsibility for the confusion surrounding school funding and the redirection of tax dollars.
With that, Loveland City Schools has a long and documented history of strong conservative fiscal management and has kept its commitments to this community. Two examples I would like to bring to your attention are: The District vowed that the last levy in 2014, would last for four years and it has lasted for five and a half. Twenty years ago, when I was still the District Treasurer, this community supported a bond issue to build and to renovate its buildings. Past and current students and community members benefit still from these facilities. Now, it is time to move forward with renovations and construction of new buildings for the next generation.
This levy request is about what is best for our children and our community. Students cannot learn as well in these rapidly changing times in buildings that are older than my fifty-year-old house. As we all know, maintaining, operating and implementing technology costs significantly more in old buildings as opposed to new construction. You may not be aware that students are currently being taught in temporary trailers and hallways. The one-time cost of new construction is certainly more frugal than continuing to expend operating funds year after year on dated facilities. Energy efficiency, our children’s safety and the continuing evolution of technological integration are our new normal. Unfortunately, safety training has become an urgent and critical component of our children’s and our community’s education. You own
these facilities and although the Board of Education and Administration provide leadership, you are ultimately responsible to provide that which our children need to be safe so they can succeed. Our buildings do not have current safety and security infrastructure to protect against real threats facing them.
The quality of our schools has a direct impact on the quality of our community and its economic stability, including the value of our property. Legitimizing a “no” vote without taking into consideration these critical realities is short-sighted.
As we each make up our minds about how to vote on November 5th, I ask that you consider not just the numbers, but also what the school district has consistently delivered for our children and for this community. There is a shift in education. This vote is about all our children, the lives of the children of our community. This responsibility belongs to all of us. The return on investment will come both soon and later. Actually, return on investment has already been provided for us by voters in the past. PASS IT FORWARD, please.