Levy needed for Mount Gilead schools

Dear Citizens,

As school board president, I would like to address some questions we have received regarding the upcoming levy.

“Why is the district threatening the community with cuts if the levy doesn’t pass? Can you address this?”

Our Board and Administration is committed to making sure that our taxpayers have the information to make an informed decision when they vote on the levy on May 7. The list of potential cuts is not a threat, it is the reality of what the district must do if we do not have the revenue from the levy.

We have to balance the budget, and these are the measures we must take without additional revenue. We have had community members ask for this list, and we feel that it is important that we provide this information to all taxpayers.

“Why these cuts? How were these items chosen?”

The decision to recommend cutting any program or service is not one that our team takes lightly. We value all of the programs and services we provide to students and families, or we would not have implemented them. We do have requirements that must be met, however, and those start as the foundation of our decision making process. For example, while we truly believe in the benefits of whole-child education, we are not required to offer specials at the elementary level, but we do have to offer reading and math.

We had lots of discussions to determine the list of necessary cuts, and while it was not something that any of us wants to do, it is our obligation to balance the budget. Again, we feel it is important to be transparent with the community so folks know the impact of this ballot issue.

“Why are you spending money on the building when you are cutting programs?”

First, we would like to point out, that these items are paid for from separate funds, and the facilities fund can not be used to pay for operating, and vice versa. From a facility standpoint, we are trying to maintain the buildings as much as we can on a limited budget. We are not spending money on cosmetic issues, but we will continue to do maintenance on our properties.

Just like in your own home, it is critical that we continue to maintain the community’s school facilities to extend the lifetime of the systems or we will pay more in the long-term to replace items.

I hope that we have clearly answered these questions. If not, please contact our school board office for more information at 419-946-1646.

Thank you,

Brian Barnett

Board President

Mount Gilead School District