March 16, 2011
Governor Kasich has announced his biennial budget. In his presentation, he claimed that general state aid was increasing slightly for most school districts. However based upon the current budget draft, decreases in other areas of the overall school funding will significantly change and the district will lose $14.1 million in state foundation money over the next two years. Specifically, Hilliard City Schools may lose $5.2 million in Fiscal Year (FY) '12 (2011-12 school year) and $8.9 million in FY '13 (2012-13 school year). This would represent a 15.4 percent decrease in state foundation money for FY '12 and 26 percent in FY '13
These latest adjustments to school funding places even more importance on the 6.9-mill operating levy on the May 3 ballot, also known as Issue 7. Hilliard City Schools simply cannot afford to absorb this loss in state school funding, have Issue 7 fail on May 3 and remain the excellent school district it is today.
Should Issue 7 fail, the district will make nearly $4 million in cuts in order to balance our
budget for the 2011-12 school year. The list of cuts was designed to spread this
difficult situation across the entire district; it takes into account the $6.5 million in recent
reductions that Hilliard Schools has already made and includes:
A detailed version of this list is available on the district's website at
No one wants to make these reductions. Cutting our district in this drastic fashion will change its landscape and moves us closer to state minimum standards. However, under Ohio law school districts are required to balance their budgets.
The good news in all of this is that our community has an opportunity to avoid this situation. Passage of Issue 7 on May 3 will allow the district to maintain the excellent quality educational experience that our 15,621 students receive today. If Issue 7 is approved, the district will continue to make efficient reductions. However, the passage of Issue 7 allows these reductions to take place in a responsible manner while protecting what is important to our community.
Governor Kasich's budget is still a draft at this point. It will move through the Ohio House and Senate before being signed by the governor later this year. While the district continues to ask questions about the more finite matters in the budget, I feel it is important for our community to understand the major changes that were made to school funding and how they impact our community.
Hilliard City Schools will see the largest revenue decline in the area of Business Tangible Personal Property Tax Reimbursement. This is a state tax that businesses previously paid on things like machinery, equipment and inventory. Businesses stopped paying this tax in 2010, but the state reimbursed this money to school districts with a plan to gradually phase it out entirely by 2018. Governor Kasich's draft budget has significantly adjusted that plan and Hilliard City Schools will lose $4.5 million in revenue from this state revenue source in FY '12 alone.
A second area of concern is the loss of federal stimulus dollars. Many school districts across the state received state foundation dollars that were based upon this money. However, those dollars are no longer available to the state and Governor Kasich's draft budget, as we expected, does NOT replace these funds.
The Board of Education is expected to take action on the proposed cut list during a special meeting on March 28. The district will continue to keep parents and community members informed regarding important developments in our district.
Dale A. McVey
Superintendent Hilliard City Schools