District to Place Operating Levy on November 6 Ballot
In addition to providing funds for the day-to-day operations of the district, revenue generated by this levy will also be used to support a number of initiatives identified by the community as important to the continued excellence of the Kettering Schools.
“We are providing you with information about the levy and these specific initiatives here on our website. As always, I encourage you to contact me or a member of our Central Staff if you have any questions about this operating levy,” said Scott Inskeep., superintendent of tthe Kettering City School District. (Contact information is included below.)
November 2018 Operating Levy * General Information and FAQs
* The Kettering Board of Education approved the placement of a 5.99-mill Operating Levy on the November 2018 ballot at its July 17 meeting.
* This is the first time in five years that the Kettering City School District has asked the community to approve a new-money Operating Levy.
* This 5.99-mill Operating Levy will cost the owner of a $100,000 home an additional $17.47 per month.
* If approved by Kettering voters, this Operating Levy will generate approximately $7.5 million annually for district operations.
* This is a continuing operating levy for the district.
In addition to providing needed funding for the day-to-day operations of the district, the additional revenue generated by this Operating Levy will allow the district to enhance safety and security measures, implement all-day kindergarten across the district and expand upon the district’s career tech offerings – all three of these measures are in direct response to community requests, as identified in the district’s community wide survey of 2015 and its strategic planning process, which commenced in August of 2017.
Safety and Security
School Resource Officers...Working with the Kettering Police Department, the district would increase the number of school resource officers by adding full-time SROs at each of our two middle schools. Kettering currently has a full-time SRO at Fairmont High School and two additional SROs monitoring the two middle schools, eight elementary schools and the city’s non-public schools. Hiring additional SROs to work at our middle schools will free up the additional two officers to dedicate more time at our elementary buildings.
Mental Health Services...The district nearly doubled its contract with South Community to provide mental health services to students for the 2017-18 school year, but additional services are still needed. Passage of this Operating Levy will allow the district to expand on mental health services for students and to implement “Second Step,” a social/emotional curriculum that promotes schoolwide improvement by helping all students make progress in emotion management, situational awareness and academic achievement.
Background Checks for Volunteers...The district will refine its background check policy for volunteers by working with a company to make sure that every volunteer in the Kettering
Schools is background checked prior to working with students in any capacity.
Security Cameras and Door Barricades...If approved, we will partner this Operating Levy with our Permanent Improvement Fund to expand security camera locations at all of our buildings and to install door barricades in every classroom.
The Kettering City Schools are piloting an all-day kindergarten program at Greenmont Elementary School for the 2018-19 school year, with the plan to expand the program districtwide if the November Operating Levy passes.
Research solidly supports the fact that all-day kindergarten programs close the gap between young children from differing socio-economic and minority backgrounds and increases reading proficiency for all children. This, coupled with the fact that 77 percent of residents surveyed in 2015 support all-day kindergarten, has prompted the district to take this first step in bringing all-day kindergarten to our young learners by initiating the pilot program at Greenmont Elementary.
- Passage of this operating levy will allow the district to hire the appropriate number of new teachers so that during the 2019-2020 school year, all-day kindergarten can be implemented in each of Kettering’s eight elementary buildings.
- The district will be making adjustments in the use of space at all elementary schools to accommodate all-day kindergarten programming for the 2019-20 school year. Space will be tight at a couple of buildings, and the district will undertake construction projects at those locations to avoid long-term overcrowding at those schools in the future.
- The Kettering Schools had initially considered implementing all-day kindergarten over a two-school-year period. However, as a district, we feel that it is important that every incoming kindergartner is afforded the same opportunities to benefit from all-day kindergarten.
- The District will make the necessary adjustments for the 2019-20 school year, where needed, so that – with passage of this operating levy – the District will put all-day kindergarten in place at all eight elementary buildings, beginning in August of 2019.
Career Readiness Expansion
With passage of this Operating Levy, Fairmont High School’s award-winning Career Tech Center would begin expanding its offerings to add programs to provide education and training that can prepare students to go right in to in-demand, good-paying jobs right out of high school.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)...
During the 2016 Permanent Improvement (PI) Levy campaign, the district said it did not plan to return to the taxpayers for new operating dollars until 2019. Why is the district placing this Operating Levy on the 2018 ballot?
There are a number of reasons why the district is choosing to ask voters to approve this Operation Levy in November 2018, instead of waiting until 2019:
* The Kettering City School District is subject to the state’s “cap,” which means that, while the state has a funding formula in place, based on what it identifies as the cost-per-pupil to educate a child in Ohio, this does not apply to all districts. In fact, because of Kettering’s high property valuation, the district is “capped” at a maximum dollar amount when it comes to funding received from the state. This capped amount is significantly less than what the state identifies in its funding formula. In reality, this results in an annual shortfall of approximately $8 million in state funding for the Kettering Schools due to the state’s “cap.”
* Superintendent Scott Inskeep and CFO Dan Schall have worked diligently over the past three years to convince our state legislators to fund all-day kindergarten or, at the very least, to remove kindergarten funding from the state “cap.” Unfortunately, while almost all legislators agree that all-day kindergarten is a benefit, the funds to help make it happen have not materialized. The funds to expand our elementary buildings to accommodate all-day kindergarten are available, thanks to passage of the 2016 P.I. Levy. However, additional operating dollars are needed to hire additional teachers to implement all-day kindergarten programming district wide. Passage of this Operating Levy would provide the needed funds to do this.
* The district has seen a 23-percent increase in students who are on Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), increasing special education costs by more than $2 million a year.
* During the 2012-13 school year, the district had 14,233 student visits to the school nurse. This number increased to 40,511 in the 2016-17 school year, for a 284-percent increase in school nurse visits. Similarly, the district has seen a two-fold increase in the number of visits to school nurses by students with high-needs medical issues, such as diabetes, seizures, extreme asthma, allergic reaction and feeding tubes in just the past two school years. In addition, the number of Clinic visits by students needing the administration of doctor-prescribed medications or medical treatments while at school has increased from 9,868 in the 2012-13 school year to 28,048 during the 2016-17 school year. These numbers clearly illustrate the need for additional nursing services to meet the needs of our students.
* The state has accelerated the phase-out of Tangible Personal Property Tax (TPP,) which is tax that business and industry pay on everything other than real estate, including inventory, equipment, machinery, etc. This phase-out has amounted to a reduction in revenue to the district of more than $10 million PER YEAR over the past decade.
If this Operating Levy passes, when will the district begin collecting the funds?
Funds from a levy are always collected in the following calendar year, so if this Operating Levy passes in November of 2018, the district will begin collecting on it in January of 2019. This is another reason why the district has chosen to place the levy on the ballot in November.
If the district were to wait until 2019 to place an operating levy on the ballot, the millage amount would have to be significantly higher than the 5.99 mills going on the November 2018 ballot. Essentially, the passage of a levy in 2018 balances the budget for LESS millage than waiting until 2019.
What is the difference between the levy the district is placing on the November ballot and the levy that the community passed in March of 2016?
The levy that the community approved in 2016 was a Permanent Improvement, or P.I., Levy. Funds generated from a P.I. levy can only be used to purchase, maintain, update or improve upon items that have a lifespan of five years or more, hence the use of the word “permanent” in a Permanent Improvement Levy. P.I. levy funds cannot be used to pay salaries or benefits.
The levy the district will place on the November ballot is an Operating Levy. Funds generated from operating levies are used for the day-to-day operations of the district. Because schools, by nature, are a “people” business, the majority of operating funds are used to hire and retain the best people for the positions.
Central Office Contact Information
Scott Inskeep, Superintendent – firstname.lastname@example.org – 499-1430
Dan Schall, CFO – email@example.com – 499-1410
Ken Lackey, Director, Business Services – firstname.lastname@example.org – 499-1419
Kari Basson, Coordinator, Community Relations – email@example.com – 499-1458
Dan Von Handorf, Director, Student Services – firstname.lastname@example.org – 499-1433