DOVER (Tusco TV) - School district officials are renewing their plea for additional funding as a third-try operating levy makes its way to the ballot.
Treasurer Andrew Bache says the board of education on Monday took the required first step to place an emergency operating levy on the November 5th ballot. Bache says recent cost-saving measures are helping somewhat in the short term, but he says without additional operating money, the district’s finances could be in red within three school years.
“I will say the actions taken by our school district to reduce the nine positions over the past few years has made an impact on the bottom line, and we were able to push our overall deficit out by one year. However, the financial stability still remains at risk, and the need for additional funding isn’t going away,” he says.
Bache says he is recommending another levy attempt because, without new revenue, additional cuts may be on the horizon (that could limit educational and extracurricular opportunities for Dover students).
“If our district fails to increase revenues, we’re gonna have to continue to reduce, and obviously, further reductions is going to impact our class sizes, extracurricular activities, and it’s gonna limit the overall opportunities for Dover students,” he says.
Bache says Dover ranks among the top 20 percent of school districts statewide with the lowest per-pupil spending. He says what they have isn’t a spending problem. It’s a revenue problem, and they’re not expecting any relief from the state, at least not anytime soon.
“The direction from the legislature on future funding is a little too unclear at this point, and looking at the forecast, again, we’re going to be in the red in Fiscal Year 22, so we need to go on the ballot in order preserve basically the current academic environment for our students,” he says.
Bache says they’re having the county auditor certify the millage for a levy that would generate a little more than $2.6-million annually for the school district. The same request earlier this year amounted to a 6.9-mill tax that failed to pass by around a thousand votes.