1. How much has the budget been cut in the last three years?
2016-17 We made cuts of $1.5 million (included was a reduction in force in which six teachers were cut.)
2017-18 We made cuts of $300,000
2018-19 We will make cuts of $1 million if the levy does pass in May, and we will make cuts of $2 million if it does not pass.
2. What is the issue on the May ballot?
The May ballot will have a 6.9 mill property tax levy for operations of the district.
3. What is the proposed length of this levy?
This levy will be “continuing,” as are all our existing operating tax levies in North Canton City Schools.
4. If you still plan to make cuts to the budget even if the levy passes, why don’t you ask for more than 6.9 mills?
If you study the history of levy proposals over the last 30 years, you will see that North Canton residents have only passed one issue that exceeded seven mills. Also, an independent finance committee as well as many other residents encouraged us to keep the millage under seven.
5. What will the levy cost the average homeowner?
For every $100,000 of home value the levy will cost $20 per month or $241.50 per year.
6. When is the last time North Canton passed an operating levy?
We passed an operating levy in November 2010 for 4.5 mills.
7. How would money raised through a levy be used?
The revenue generated by this levy would allow us to continue programs and services within the district budget.
8. What effect would a levy failure have on busing?
Failure of the levy will mean a reduction or an elimination of busing for students in grades 9-12.
9. How much state funding do we receive from the state for busing?
The district receives about $869,000 for FY18 from the state for transportation.
Savings from the reduction of busing grades 9-12:
• We believe we can take eight buses completely off the road. This reduction will mean savings in bus drivers, buses and fuel.
• Based on FY 16 T-2 report from the State of Ohio, each bus removed would save the district $41,489. (Most recent data available). This number is based on our district’s information. For the average district, this cost is closer to $50,000 per bus, but we are more economical than most districts.
16% of our daily riders are grades 9-12.
869,000 less 16% = $729,960.
If we take eight buses off road x $41,489 = $331,912 savings NCCS would lose $139,040. Our net savings is $192,000.
10. How does the school district compare academically with the other districts in Stark County?
We are one of the top school districts in Stark County academically, which is evident in the most recent state report card. We ranked first in indicators met on the state report card. We were the only district in Stark County to meet the gifted indicator. We ranked third on the performance index. We were first in Stark County in the overall grade calculation on the state report card, which will be apparent in next year’s report card based upon the new calculation method.
11. How much revenue does the school district receive from the state in comparison to local monies raised through property taxes?
In FY17 we received $24.3 million through local funding, $18 million in state revenue and $2.1 million in federal funding. If we break that down into percentages, we see that the district is primarily funded by local efforts with 55% of the budget and only 45% coming from state and federal monies.
12. What cuts are being proposed if the levy does not pass?
Potential reductions will be made in four areas:
Transportation (e.g., elimination of 9-12 busing and modification of busing zones);
Athletics and Extracurriculars (e.g., consideration of pay to participate);
Staffing (both classified and certified cuts will likely be implemented, resulting in increases of class sizes); and
Programs and Services (e.g., elimination of some field trips) some course offerings, programs and activities may be eliminated.
13. What will happen to class sizes?
Class sizes will likely increase.
14. What can residents expect if the levy does pass?
The school district will continue offering current or similar programs. We will continue to employ fiscal responsibility as we monitor our programming and expenditures.
15. How does the May 2018 levy compare to the November 2017 in terms of the operational money which is generated?
The short answer is that 6.9 mills generates $500,000 more than the 0.75% earned income tax in November for operating expenses.
The earned income tax generated $4.4 million for operating expenses, $1 million for the facilities project debt and $360,000 for maintenance of the project. The 3.99 bond issue paid for the district’s share of the cost of the facility project. The May 2018 issue asks for more money because 1.) we lost a year of collections with the defeat of the November issue 2.) no collections until January of 2019 and 3.) we must continue to maintain our current aging buildings.
16. Is the district currently in deficit spending?
Yes. The five-year forecast shows we will have a deficit of nearly $1.5 million in 2018, $2.5 million in 2019, and $3.8 million in 2020.
According to the five-year forecast, if the levy passes and we make the proposed cuts, we believe we will be able to operate at our present level of programming without asking the community for additional operating funding through 2023 and beyond.
17. Will state funding increase this year?
Most likely no. Over the past ten years, we have only received an average increase of 0.5% per year. That small increase doesn’t allow us to keep up with our increasing costs in staffing and benefits.