That is the mantra of virtually every school district in the State of Ohio. Over the last two years, no fewer than 678 income and/or property tax levy requests have been placed before resident/taxpayers to resolve anticipated school district budget deficits. And for most of these districts,the recently-proposed school funding formula will not solve that problem.
With money becoming increasingly tighter for everyone, resident-taxpayers expect schools to use their finite resources to achieve superior performance in a manner which is fiscally sound. As a result, they have begun to closely scrutinize the need for additional funding before pulling the lever in the ballot booth.
The 2011 "DPI" Study
In 2011, we studied the productivity of each of the State's school districts, measuring them according to a "District Productivity Index," an indicator of the fiscal effectiveness/efficiency with which a school district achieved its performance results. The results of this study can be found in the "2011 DPI" tab. This study has not been updated to reflect the last two years of operation.
The 2013 Salary/Income Study
Based on the positive feedback we received regarding the usefulness of the DPI Study, we embarked on and just completed a "2013 Salary/Income Study" of these districts. This study tracks the growth of each school district's average teacher salary with the growth of each district's average resident income.
Why is this relevant? Because although personnel costs account for 78% of each district's expenditures, the vast majority of administrators and school board members have been reluctant to address across-the-board teacher salary levels, preferring to cut facility costs, eliminate teacher and classified positions, and terminate academic programs and service delivery features. They believe that teacher salary levels are beyond their control because they are contractually negotiated.
We hope that this latest study proves to be of value to resident-taxpayers, school board members, administrators, and teacher association officers, as all of us join forces to provide the best education to the students within our communities.