Groveport Madison school board looks ahead


By Rick Palsgrove

Southeast Editor

What happens if Groveport Madison Schools’ levy/bond issue on the May 6 ballot fails?

Groveport Madison Superintendent Bruce Hoover said that, if the district’s levy/bond issue were to fail, the Groveport Madison Board of Education had to decide whether it would pursue the levy again on either the August or November ballot.

He said the board would have to file for a special election for the August ballot by May 7. A filing for the November ballot would not have to be made until August.

Treasurer Tony Swartz said that, if the board were to pursue the August ballot option, the district would have to pay for the special election, which could cost up to $30,000 if Groveport Madison were the only issue on the ballot at that time.

“I’m confidant in what we’re putting together and in what we’re seeing for the May 6 election. I don’t see an advantage to going on the ballot in August (if the issue fails in May),” said board member Nathan Slonaker, who noted that, if the issue fails in May, the cuts for the 2014-15 school year would already be in place. “An August election would not save us any heartache.”

The rest of the board concurred not to pursue a filing for an August special election.

“The consensus of the board is that we have a strong campaign for May, so the board doesn’t feel the need to make the filing for a special election in August, and, that, if necessary, the district could consider going on the ballot in November (if the May 6 levy/bond issue fails),” said Hoover.

About the levy/bond issue

The five year, 6.68 mill operating levy (which includes a .5 mill permanent improvement levy) would generate $4.5 million annually. The $33.3 million, 38-year, 2.24 mill bond issue would fund construction of a new high school. The annual cost for the owner of a $100,000 home for the combined ballot issue would be $312.

The proposed $62.9 million, 235,000 square foot high school, would be paid for by Ohio Schools Facilities Commission funding of $29.6 million and the local taxpayer share of $33.3 million. If the proposed bond issue is approved, the high school, located at 4475 S. Hamilton Road, would be torn down and a new high school built in the existing parking lot area.

Voters will decide on the combined operating levy and bond issue on May 6.

If the levy/bond issue is approved

If the levy/bond issue is approved by the voters, the district will:

•Restore student busing for Groveport Madison High School.

•Reinstate busing beyond 1-mile radius for K-8 students.

•Phase in college and career readiness programs with emphasis in science, technology, engineering, and math courses for grades 5-12.

•Increase Advance Placement course options.

•Reinstate all athletics and extracurricular programs.

•Fund integration of educational technology plan at all grade levels.

•Allocate $1 million for essential building repairs to the high school (immediate needs only) and other building repairs. If the bond issue passes, the existing high school must be used for about three years until the new high school is constructed.

•Maintain a carryover of $3 million by 2017.

•Begin planning and construction of new high school with Ohio School Facility Commission matching funds.

•Establish an independent citizen task force to review and communicate the use of taxpayer investment.

If the levy/bond issue fails

If the levy/bond issue fails, the district will make $3 million in cuts:

•Continue without busing services for Groveport Madison High School students.

•Maintain state minimum busing for K-8 students. (No busing within 2-mile radius.)

•Eliminate all athletic and extracurricular programs at all grade levels.

•Reduce art and music programs at all grade levels. (No K-8 programs. One high school fine art credit to remain.)

•Staff reductions of: 27 teachers, 2 guidance counselors, 2 administrators and 1 clerical position

•Evaluate the possibility of closing a school and consolidating middle schools.

•Additional staff and program reductions as necessary to meet the budget.


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