LCSD Attempts to Pass New Levy
The future of public education in Loveland will once again be on the ballot this November. A motion to place a 4.9 mill levy before voters was unanimously approved by the Loveland City School District Board of Education this past August.
Superintendent Mike Broadwater suggested that the proposed levy would help the district maintain its recent successes, saying, “The goal of the levy is to simply continue to provide excellent education for our students. Without the additional revenue, the district will need to eliminate programming that our students receive now.”
The Loveland community has had a multitude of local educational issues present on the ballot in recent autumns. Just last fall, three elected slots on the Board of Education were up for grabs. Additionally, voters in the district have rejected two prior levy attempts since the last successful levy, which occurred in the fall of 2014.
The levy would add $14 in taxes per each $100,000 of home value each month for property owners across the district. Some of this funding would be used to match national inflation trends, as Ohio is the only state in the union that does not make inflationary funding adjustments for public education.
Despite recent funding deficits, the Loveland City School District has cemented its place as one of the premier public districts in the state of Ohio. Just last month Loveland was one of twelve districts to achieve a perfect report card score. Broadwater expanded on this achievement, saying, “That puts us in the top 2% of districts statewide, despite Loveland being in the bottom 7% for revenue per student. This shows that LCSD provides a great education for an extremely low price.”
Those opposed to the levy argue that the district has mismanaged taxpayer dollars in the past, citing trust and transparency issues, as seen on campaign signage across town.
Without the additional revenue, the district would have to cut more staff, in addition to the 47 positions already claimed by prior failed levies, continued Broadwater. “There is very little discretionary spending, considering that 86% of LCSD’s budget is staffing costs. While Loveland does provide a tremendous experience now, without having to make cuts would allow us to be flexible in serving our students. The goal is to allow our students to grow and adapt to new ideas, but to also be very fiscally sound in decision-making,” concluded Broadwater.
With nearly two weeks remaining before election day, the proposed levy has already become a very polarizing issue across the community. Yard signs from both sides of the issue can be seen on every street corner across town.
A major issue that could be resolved if the levy is passed is the revival of high school bussing. If the levy passes and the district can employ the proper number of transportation staffers, bussing services could be reinstated for students 9-12. This would relieve transportation stresses for many of the younger students at Loveland High School.
Citizens aged 18 and older have the opportunity to make their voices heard on this issue through voting during the midterm elections on Tuesday, November 8, however, those that cannot vote can still make their voices heard by talking to voters and by campaigning for their beliefs.