Dear Benton-Carroll-Salem School District Stakeholders:
While we were very thankful for the passage of two renewal levies at the polls on May 7, we were quite disappointed the 1% earned income tax levy failed. As a result, our Board of Education called an Emergency Meeting for on May 8 at 7 a.m. During this meeting the Board resolved to place a 3.9 mill emergency operating levy on the Aug. 6 ballot. The levy would raise approximately $1.5 million per year for operating expenses.
The Board also discussed the difficult choices that must be made going forward. The financial losses due to the Davis-Besse devaluation and the phase out of the PUTPP payment from the state are real and must be addressed.
The Treasurer and I will be meeting with district administrators and other staff over the course of the next week to discuss ways to both make reductions and increase fees that will take effect in the next few weeks.
We will be looking at the use of school buildings by community groups and biddy programs, charging fees for all-day Kindergarten, reducing bus routes to state mandated minimums, eliminating community activities like noon swim and the senior citizen luncheon, increasing athletic pay-to-participate fees, and other areas to raise revenue and decrease expenses.
Any reductions made or new fees charged will have consequences. This is not the position we wish to be in. However, we were clear that these tough decisions will have to be made if the income tax levy failed yesterday, and it did.
Beyond the immediate future, if the Aug. 6 levy does not pass, deeper measures will have to be taken. We plan to clearly communicate these in advance of voting on Aug. 6.
Our Board will convene again on Tuesday, May 14 at 4 p.m. at the Board of Education Office. I will continue to keep you all posted with news and updates concerning this situation.
Finally, I am certain our staff will continue to remain highly dedicated focused on providing the strongest educational opportunities for our students each and every day.
Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email email@example.com or call 419-898-6210.
Superintendent Guy Parmigian