Issue 26 was a 3.9 mill operating levy to fund day-to-day operating expenses for the school district. Issue 26 was defeated by voters on November 7, 2017.
The primary reason the district is seeking an additional operating levy is budget reductions in our state funding over the last two biennial budgets. Every two years, the legislature adopts a budget to fund all departments funded at a state level.
In general, while the legislature points to increasing funding for PK-12 Education across Ohio, districts like Chardon have seen significant reductions in their funding from the State. The legislature classifies our district as a “wealthy” district with more ability to support education at the local level.
A major component of the state budget reductions is the elimination of the Tangible Personal Property Tax - a tax on business equipment and inventory that went to local school districts. The loss of the TPP supplement payments to Chardon Schools resulted in $1 million dollars eliminated from our state support each year beginning in 2017-18 and each year thereafter.
Charter School enrollment continues to impact our budget with an estimated annual cost of $600,000. These “tuition-free” programs deduct $6,010 per student from Chardon Schools for each student attending a charter school. However, our district only receives approximately $1,270 per student from the state budget. The difference of $4,740 is made up by our General Fund - and, ultimately, local taxpayers.