Q: Why should I Vote Yes for the Findlay City Schools Operating Levy?
A: Every day Findlay City Schools strives to excel at our district’s mission of Educating and Empowering for Life. In an evolving economy, Findlay City Schools is tackling the complexities of meeting educational demands that ensure our students graduate with skills that will lead to future success whether they pursue a path of higher education or enter our local workforce. While asking for additional financial support is never easy or something our district wants to do, FCS cannot continue to educate students and provide opportunities that will lead to successful lives without the passage of an operating levy.
Q: What is the Findlay City Schools Financial Request?
A: This is NOT a permanent levy. Findlay City Schools will place an operating levy on the ballot for the November 3, 2020 Special Election. The district is asking for a 3.90 mil five-year levy that will generate just over $3 million dollars to support the day-to-day operations of our district. At the end of year five, the voters will have an opportunity to decide if they want to renew this levy.
Q: Why is the Findlay City Schools Operating Levy Needed?
A: Our schools are facing increasing daily operating costs, costly state mandates, and much needed advanced educational programs with decreased state funding. More costs with less funding are why we are facing a critical budget deficit. Our schools will run out of money in 2022, forcing staff cuts and a reduction in advanced curricula that would jeopardize our students’ access to the education they need. Essentially, we would be taking a huge step backwards, undoing more than a decade worth of advancements.
Our district hasn’t passed an operating levy increase in nearly 16 years; other school districts ask every 8 years on average. This shows that our district’s fiscal discipline and careful planning has ensured we were able to go twice as long as other similar-sized districts. The last time we received additional operating dollars was in 2004.
Q: If the operating levy passes, what will it cost me?
A: This operating levy will cost a homeowner $136.50 per year per $100,000 of home value. You can feel confident that this is a great value for our schools, our students, and our community’s future.
Q: What has Findlay City Schools done to reduce cost before coming to the voters for additional dollars
A: To demonstrate our fiscal commitment, Findlay City Schools has improved our long-term financial viability by:
- Asking our staff to contribute more to their healthcare costs.
- Embracing consolidation and efficiencies by going from three middle schools to two which has saved us $1.1 million dollars.
- Continuing to consolidate and right-size based on enrollment.
- Upgrading our buildings to ensure energy savings.
- Reducing supervisory and staff levels.
Q: What is Findlay City Schools plan for the additional income?
A: We are asking for a five-year levy that will generate enough money to maintain the advancements we have made. Findlay City Schools is currently in deficit spending; this operating levy will bring us back into a positive cash flow situation. These levy dollars will protect our staffing levels and ensure we continue to offer a competitive learning environment for our students.
Q: Is this levy the same as the Safety and Security Levy?
A: This operating levy is not for Safety or Security. The dollars collected from this levy go directly to maintain the high-quality learning opportunities that Findlay City Schools strives to provide every day.