|by John Beagle
My first Main Street Monroe interview with Elizabeth Lolli, Monroe's new School Superintendent.
(Photo: Libbie Lolli, Monroe School Superintendent)
Beagle: I have heard your thoughts on the levy ( I posted them below)
1. "The community is rapidly growing, which means that the school district is also rapidly growing," said Lolli Wednesday night during a bond levy campaign ...
2. Lolli said the bond issue is "a necessity for this community and its children. We need everybody's help."
Beagle: Do you have anything to add?
Lolli: The only other thing I would say about the bond issue is that , the sooner the community passes a levy the cheaper the cost will be. Each levy cycle that passes by without a positive vote, causes costs to rise by 6-8%. So if the levy passes this March, we are looking at a $28 million price tag. If it passes in November, we are looking at a $30 million price tag.
Beagle: Can you address Mary Detcher’s concerns. She, like many others on a fixed income, feel she cannot pay any more taxes.
Lolli: As far as Mrs. Detcher, everyone understands the dilemma that those on a fixed income have. Unfortunately, at some point in time taxes will go up. As I said earlier the sooner we pass the levy, the better it will be for her and others on a fixed income because the cost is lower. There is a 2 mill drop in this levy that was built in. This drop will occur in 2010, so the levy will collect at approximately 4.5 mills as opposed to 6.5 mills.
Photo: Mary Detcher
Beagle: Can you speak about State funding for public schools in Ohio?
Lolli: State funding in Ohio has been ruled unconstitutional four times now. The state funding formula is not working for more than 2/3 of Ohio’s schools. This state funding formula is for operating expenses, not bond money. There has never been state money for facilities until the Ohio Schools Facilities Commission was formed. Monroe is number 511 out of 612 school districts. The OSFC is currently funding schools numbered between 207-246 (if they can secure their share). Monroe’s share of OSFC money is only 16%. The community would have to pay the other 84% of any project and follow the OSFC expectations and guidelines.
Lolli: In other words, state funding is for the purpose of operating dollars not facilities dollars.
Discuss: New Elementary School (Serious Topic)