–by Scott Nelson – Superintendent of Sylvania Schools
PUBLICATION DATE: 09.13.16
Strong Schools, Strong Sylvania!
Strong Schools, Strong Sylvania. The significance of this statement is key to the future of the Sylvania community as Sylvania Schools will be on the ballot this Nov. 8 as Issue 17. The school board is asking for the community’s support, after paring down an initial 5.9 mill request to a 5.7 mill request in response to better-than-expected budgeted district savings. Of that request, 4.7 mills are designated for operating expenses and 1.0 mill is for permanent improvements. The cost for Issue 17 can be determined by looking at the median price of a home in Sylvania, which is $175K. This median cost to a homeowner will be $28 dollars a month, or just under $1 a day.
The need is real. The last successful levy was five years ago, in 2011. Complicating the school district’s financial stability has been state funding cuts, as well as local property devaluation. Sylvania Schools have taken a $16 million dollar cut from state funding since 2010. Compounding this cut are property tax devaluations in 2009 and 2012, which reduced actual real estate collections $10.3 million since 2010, with a $2.2 million shortfall continuing annually. We will never be able to recover this funding due to state tax real estate laws. The substantial $26 million shortfall in state funding along with property devaluation have put immense pressure on the school district making it extremely difficult to meet the needs of our students. Our students cannot continue any longer without further help from the community.
Future articles will discuss why passing Issue 17 is critical and how Sylvania Schools benefit the entire Sylvania community.