FACT 1. The new Substitute levy is on the ballot a year early. It begs the question why? The levy it is replacing does not expire until 2019. If voters reject the Substitute levy, Springboro Schools will not lose any funding in 2018 because the current levy has not expired. Rejecting the substitute levy will simply give school officials time to create realistic spending plans and re-evaluate their levy needs.
FACT 2. If voters approve this continuing Substitute Levy, there is no longer an opportunity to approve its effectiveness again. These taxes are collected forever, whether they are really needed or not. Substitute levies can also have 5-year terms. Schools are more responsive to parent and community needs and concerns when they must occasionally appeal to voters for approval of funds. Periodic levy renewals force school officials to scrutinize their actions and funding every few years. Why is this not a 5-year renewable levy?
FACT 3. Springboro Schools total revenue has increased 22% since 2012, inflation is up but 6.1% since 2012, but spending has increased at a 26% clip since 2012. Much spending has been for non-educational purposes in administrative additions, substantial growth of purchasing outside services, and perks like paying the employee’s share of their pension. Meanwhile the D’s and C’s on the district Report Card indicate deficiency in the areas of K-3 literacy, Grade 8-12 Achievement, and Gap Closing.
FACT 4. According to district financial forecasts posted on Springboro.org, in 2015 Springboro Schools projected total funding of $47.5 million for 2017. In 2016, it made another adjustment with 2017 funding projected to be $48.3 million. 2017 funding was actually $50.1 million. District funding projections are consistently $1.5 – $2.5 million low, offering a reduced degree of confidence in these forecasts given the historical track record.