The Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) strongly encourages residents of the Brookfield Local School District to vote for the income tax on Nov. 6. The five-year, 1-percent income tax will help ensure the school district has the funds needed to maintain financial stability.
While the economic downturn has been hard on many people in Ohio, it is important to remember it has been especially hard on our schools. Brookfield and schools across Ohio have seen their funding cut and revenues decline, which has made it challenging to maintain the high-quality education you have come to expect.
Brookfield's last request for new operating funds was in 2005. The ballot issue was defeated and the school district responded by tightening its belt. Between 2006 and 2012, Brookfield turned a $6.5 million projected operating deficit in its five-year budget forecast into a $40,000 surplus. Positions were cut and efficiencies were located. Teachers and staff sacrificed by accepting minor cost-of-living pay increases or forgoing raises all together.
The district, however, is now at the point where there is little left to cut. The income tax, if approved by voters, would generate a much-needed $1.4 million annually for day-to-day school operations. Collection would start in 2013 and the revenue would prevent Brookfield from slipping into a state-designated state of fiscal emergency, which would mean deeper cuts to school programs, services and staff.
The income tax will allow the district to focus on what it does best: helping students succeed. Through the dedicated efforts of teachers, staff and students, Brookfield has seen its scores on the state report card climb, including key measures of student learning like the Performance Index Score.
Communities are only as strong as their schools; I am asking you to continue to stand behind public education. By voting for this levy, you are helping Brookfield maintain excellence and ensuring a bright future for children in your community. That's why on Nov. 6, OSBA urges residents to vote FOR the school district's income tax. It is a wise and much-needed investment in your schools and community.
Director of Communication Services, Ohio School Boards