Understanding School Funding
Lay Finance Committee Report
June 10, 2016 -- At their June 7 meeting, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education officially placed an operating levy on the November 2016 ballot, after hearing the second of two required public readings of the levy resolution.
The November levy will be 5.5 mills, which would produce approximately $5.8 million per year for school operations. This amount was reviewed and recommended by the Lay Finance Committee, a group of expert community members who reported their findings to the Board at their May work session.
The CH-UH School District has not had any increase in the dollar amount it receives for operations since 2011, when the last levy was passed. State laws freeze operating funds at the amount passed, so as costs have risen over the last five years, the District’s budget has stayed the same. In fact, because of State funding cuts, the District actually operates with a smaller budget today than it did in 2011.
This levy is the smallest operating levy request for at least 20 years. In order to keep the levy request as small as possible, the district has consistently reduced expenses and sought to economize operations. In Fiscal Year 2016, the district made more than $5 million in annual budget cuts. Already in Fiscal Year 2017, the district has cut more than $3.25 million from its annual budget through staffing reductions.
The first reading of the levy resolution came at the Board's May 17 work session.