ELECTION 2023:Oakwood schools ask for money for improving buildings, operations

The combined levy would bring Oakwood schools around $2.5 million annually.

Credit: FILE

Credit: FILE

Oakwood Schools is asking for a combined operating and improvement levy of 6.75 mills. The 5.75-mill operating levy would generate about $2.1 million annually, while the improvement levy, which is one mill, would generate about $373,000 annually.

The combined levy will cost $236 per $100,000 of appraised value.

“It has been four years since the district asked residents for additional funds,” said Traci Hale, spokeswoman for Oakwood Schools. “Just like any business, the cost of operating increases every year.”

Hale noted that funding from the state and from previous levies has stayed relatively flat. She said the money will be used to prevent deficit spending.

Oakwood Schools began deficit spending this school year, according to the five-year forecast submitted last spring to the Ohio Department of Education. This year, the deficit is anticipated to be roughly $500,000, while by the 2026-2027 school year it is expected to rise to about $4.9 million. The district does not anticipate running out of reserve funding in the next five years, according to the five-year forecast.

Oakwood voters last approved a renewal levy last November, extending an existing 1.8-mill permanent improvement levy for another five years. It is expected to raise about $534,00 in the first year. The last new request for operational funding was in May 2019, when 55% of voters approved a combination levy and bond to raise $18 million in renovations for the district’s schools and pay for daily operating costs.

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