March 10, 2017
Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to travel to Columbus and testify before the House Finance Subcommittee on Primary & Secondary Education. I joined representatives from Solon City Schools, Sycamore Community Schools, St. Bernard City Schools, and Granville Exempted Village Schools to share testimony regarding the impact of Governor Kasich’s proposed budget reductions on public schools around the state.
My testimony centered around our District’s opposition to ending the tangible personal property (TPP) tax reimbursements and supplement payments to school districts, as well as opposition to the proposed change in core aid funding. Under the Governor’s 2015 budget and the current biennium budget under review, our District is set to lose both the TPP reimbursement and supplement dollars, as well as incur a 5% reduction in core aid funding in fiscal year 2018. This amounts to a $3.5 million reduction of state funding dollars in just one year. These dollars do not include the loss of roughly $600,000 in TPP funds already removed by the state during the 2015-16 school year. My full testimony may be found HERE.
As you may be aware, we have been proactive in our goal of financial prudence through a balanced approach in promoting opportunities for growth and success in academics, athletics, and arts, while maintaining fiscal stability despite continued mandates and reduced state support. Through the diligence of local Board members, administration, staff, and community, Strongsville City Schools has generated significant savings and efficiencies over the past several years including staffing reductions, elimination and repurposing of buildings, switching to a self-insured healthcare plan, and contracting out the District’s food service operations. Unfortunately, these cost-saving measures are just partially filling the hole left by the state and not affording us the opportunities to continue to enhance the educational opportunities provided to our students.
Please make your voice heard and express your disappointment and opposition to the Governor’s proposed budget reductions. Your opinion matters and we encourage you to reach out to both State Representative Thomas Patton and State Senator Matt Dolan. I have linked letters below that can simply be printed, signed, and mailed. If email is preferred, the letters can be copied and sent to Representative Thomas Patton (email@example.com) and Senator Matt Dolan (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We will continue to advocate on behalf of our students and District as this budget bill works its way through the legislature. Thank you for your continued support of Strongsville City Schools.
Cameron M. Ryba