Perrysburg delays vote on school levy


PERRYSBURG — The anticipated vote on a school operating levy has been delayed.
A possible change in state funding methodology could change the amount of needed funds, according to
administrators with Perrysburg schools.
The school board voted unanimously Monday to make the new operating levy a five year incremental levy,
but did not decide on the value of that levy.
Board members had previously determined that a levy is needed for the November ballot, otherwise rapid
population growth in the district would force spending not allowed by balanced budget constraints.
The anticipated vote to determine the levy value should have happened Monday, but recent developments in
the state House indicate that the formula used to determine the amount of funding districts receive from
the state could change.
“We want to make sure the number is in line with the data,” said board President Jarman Davis.
Board member Eric Benington agreed, saying, “We have growth. We need a levy, but how much?”
Davis added, ”I also don’t want to be in a position where we’ve over-collected.”
The board is still waiting for information from the county and state.
Superintendent Tom Hosler is part of the volunteer work group that could change a funding bias that
favors some declining-population rural districts, at the expense of growing urban districts like
Hosler pointed out that, currently, 80 percent of districts are getting less money than they need because
of the formula used by the state, requiring frequent levies to make up the difference.
Comparing the formula to reading tea leaves, district Treasurer Pam Harrington has estimated that the
change in needed funds could be as much as 1.6 mills.
“A mill for Perrysburg Schools currently equals $949,542. This is what 1 mill raises for Perrysburg
Schools only — not for the city or for any other school district. It is totally dependent on the school
district’s valuation,” Harrington said.
The current state funding method has been in place since 1976.
In a new bipartisan effort, Rep. Bob Cupp, R-Lima, and Rep. John Patterson, D-Jefferson, have put
together the Cupp-Patterson school funding formula that might significantly change school funding for
districts like Perrysburg.
The work group of volunteer legislators has conducted a thorough review of the state’s methods for
determining its educational resources and distribution.
Currently, Perrysburg receives $2,125 per pupil. Gov. Mike DeWine has proposed an additional $150 per
pupil. However, the Cupp-Patterson formula would give Perrysburg an additional $591 per pupil, or a 27
percent increase.
“I think we need to wait a month to decide,” said Hosler. “We’re not sure which way the math is going to
take us.”
Board member Sue Larimer also stressed the importance of getting things right. She sees commercial
development happening in surrounding communities, while new residents are choosing to live in the
Perrysburg school district.
“I was speaking to a real estate developer the other day and his forecast was terrifying,” said Larimer.

“We would like to have a better understanding of the way Cupp-Patterson is moving forward and the budget
from the governor, neither of which have been released. So our goal before we come up with a millage for
our community is to have as much information as possible, to make sure that incremental levy is in line
with what our expectations are for state funding,” said Davis.

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