Frequently asked questions
Why is a levy needed?
What happens if the levy fails?
Failure to find additional revenue will have a drastic impact on our educational programming. The Board of Education and administration will have to make decisions for the next budget on reductions that will have a direct impact on student education. This includes cutting teachers and course opportunities for students.
Why is the Van Buren Local Schools deficit spending?
The district is deficit spending by $1.3 million this year, meaning the district is using money from savings to pay for current bills. Since 2011, federal funding per pupil for Van Buren Schools decreased by 40%, while state funding as a % of total revenues fell from 35% to 26% of revenues. These losses must be absorbed by the district’s general fund budget to cover mandated services - many of which are unfunded - shifting the school funding burden to local taxpayers.
What makes Van Buren Local Schools great?
The Van Buren community has long expected that its schools deliver a comprehensive, quality education to its students. The schools have delivered, providing education that consistently meets or exceeds increasing state and federal educational requirements.
This issue will allow the district to preserve the educational excellence the community has come to expect from its schools.
What is on the ballot?
An emergency (flat rate) property tax levy is on the ballot. A property tax levy is the collection of taxes charged on the value of property. County officials charge and collect the tax under the terms specified in the tax levy proposal. An emergency levy is a property tax that serves as a limited operating levy (maximum of 10 years) proposed for a specific dollar amount. Because the dollar amount of taxes charged by the levy must stay constant, the millage rate increases or decreases as property values change.
Where is the money going?
Who will pay the levy?
This tax is a property tax levy. Property owners within the district will pay based on the value of their properties.
What cuts have already been made to help save costs?
Why do school districts need to ask for levies?
Funding of schools from the State of Ohio has been a controversial affair for a number of years. The Ohio Supreme Court reviewed the DeRolph vs. State of Ohio case three separate times (in 1997, 2000, and 2002) and ruled the current state funding model unconstitutional all three times. Despite being deemed unconstitutional, no changes have been made from the state. This requires districts to continue to ask taxpayers for additional funding to cover the ever-rising costs of education.
How can the district afford a school nurse?
The district is posting for the position of a school nurse thanks to the Coronavirus Relief Fund, a part of the federal CARES Act. This fund is to be used specifically for the health and safety of the Van Buren students and staff. All expenses from this position will be paid from this fund (including wages). This is an hourly position. If the students are not in session, the nurse will not be paid.
How can we fix the amount of revenue from the state?
According to the Ohio Performance Team, we can't. The only ways to increase our funding from the state is to lower our property values or to rewrite the state funding formula. We are considered to be a "cap" district, meaning we do not receive all of the funding the formula allots for us. In fiscal year 2019, Van Buren Schools received 78.3% of the funds the formula calculated because we were capped out.
What will my taxes be if this levy passes?
Use the following formula to calculate your taxes:
Does Van Buren have a spending problem?
No. According to the Ohio Performance Team that completed the performance audit, there are only 8 similar districts in the state that spend less than Van Buren does.