November 6 Ballot initiative information (Issue 5)

bucket graphic and ballot language
On November 6, Dublin City Schools registered voters will decide upon Issue 5, a ballot initiative designed to address the District's rapid enrollment growth, as well as maintenance and upgrades at existing facilities. If approved by the community, the issue would fund three new schools, staff for the new schools, upgrades to existing facilities, technology, and equipment. 
Since 2007, the District has added more than 2,700 students and more than 3,000 are expected over the next 10 years. Dublin City Schools has not been on the ballot for six years, stretching a three-year levy cycle to six. During this time period, the District has added about 2,000 additional students.
The proposed issue is a no-new millage bond issue and permanent improvement levy, combined with a 5.9-mill operating levy that will cost taxpayers $207 per $100,000 of home value. This amount is the lowest requested since 1986. No new millage means new schools and facility improvements will not cost taxpayers anything additional.
If approved the issue will fund:
            • A fifth middle school that would open in the fall of 2021
            • The approximately 130 additional staff members for the new schools
            • High school additions at Dublin Jerome and Dublin Scioto (timeline for opening TBD)
            • $95-million worth of maintenance and upgrades to existing schools
            • Conversion of Central Office to a centralized preschool to be opened in fall of 2020 
            • Safety and security upgrades
            • Technology:

                  Infrastructure for technology
                  Alarms on doors
                  Online textbooks
                  One to one expansion
                  Review of inside the classroom technology

            • Improvements to existing schools 

Not registered to vote? The deadline is Oct. 9. Click here for registration information.
Below are some frequently asked questions regarding the November 6 issue.

Impact of Growth

Frequently Asked Questions about the November 6 issue

Questions and answers about the November ballot issue
Q. Why is Dublin City Schools placing an issue on the November 6 ballot?
A. The District is out of space and in need of additional schools. Since 2007, the District has added more than 2,700 students and more than 3,000 are expected over the next 10 years. Dublin City Schools has not been on the ballot for six years, stretching a three year levy cycle to six. During this time period, the District has added about 2,000 additional students. 
A Master Plan committee developed a plan to deal with the District’s enrollment growth and you can read about the details of their work at this page

Q What will be on the ballot?
A. Simply put, the issue will fund new schools, staff for the new schools, upgrades to existing facilities, technology, and equipment. 

The issue will be a no new millage bond issue and permanent improvement levy, combined with a 5.9-mill operating levy. 

Q. Where will the new schools be located?
A. The District already owns land in two locations for the new schools. An elementary school will be constructed on Bright Road and an elementary school and a middle school will be constructed in Jerome Village.

Q. When will the new schools be opened?
A. If the November issues passes, two elementary schools will open in the fall of 2020 and the fifth middle school would open in the fall of 2021. 

Q. Are high school additions part of the issue?
A. Yes. A timeline for when high school additions will be opened is still being developed but additions at two of our high schools are part of the November ballot request. 

Q. How much will the issue cost taxpayers?
A. The issue will cost $207 per $100,000 of home value per year and this amount is the lowest requested since 1986. The new schools and facility improvements will not cost taxpayers anything additional due to the no new millage bond issue and permanent improvement levy. 

Q. How long will the issue last?
A. Current financial forecasts indicate the District would not have to return to voters with a request until 2022.

Q. What is a no new millage bond issue?
A. This concept allows the new schools and facility improvements to be funded at no additional cost to taxpayers. The District has millage rolling off the books over the next few years which amounts to having paid off “the mortgages” of several schools built in the mid to late 80s. This provides the District with the financial flexibility to build new schools and improve existing buildings, without raising taxes. Bond issues can only fund brick and mortar and equipment, they cannot be used to fund staffing.

Q. What is a permanent improvement levy?
A. The permanent improvement levy that is part of this issue would not go into effect until 2020. The permanent improvement levy is the portion of the issue that will fund improvements to existing facilities. More than $95-million in existing facilities needs was identified by the Master Plan committee.

Q. What is an operating levy?
A. Operating levies are what funds the District’s general fund used to operate the District on a daily basis. As a service industry, almost 90% of our general fund budget is personnel. 

Q. Will the issue be three separate questions on the ballot?
A. No, the issues will be combined into one question on the ballot. One vote for or against all three. 

Q. Why combine the no new millage bond issue and permanent improvement requests with an operating levy request?
A. In the 1990s, Karrer Middle School was constructed with bond funds and then sat empty for an entire school year because the District did not have the accompanying operating dollars to staff the new facility.

Q. What happens if the issue doesn’t pass?
A. In the short term, the schools will continue to be overcrowded and class sizes would increase. Additionally, more portable classrooms could be a possibility. 

Q. Will safety and security upgrades be part of the no new millage bond issue/permanent improvement levy?
A. Yes. The details of safety and security enhancements can be viewed at this link.

Q. Will redistricting be needed as part of this plan?
A. Whenever new schools open, redistricting must take place. A redistricting committee will conduct a transparent process about a year before a new school opens in order to give parents time to adjust should their school attendance boundaries need to be shifted.
Q. What can Dublin City Schools do to control residential growth?
A. When it comes to housing developments and overall community growth, Dublin City Schools has no zoning authority or the ability to assess developers impact fees for bringing more students and the associated costs to our District. We work closely with developers and the City of Dublin when we are made aware of new housing projects, but ultimately, Dublin City Schools cannot control student enrollment growth. Our mission is to educate all the students who live within our boundaries.
Q. Is all day Kindergarten part of Issue 5?
A.  All day kindergarten was studied by the members of the Master Plan committee. The committee concluded at least two additional classrooms would need to be available at each elementary school, along with additional staffing and resources. Therefore, the commitee did not recommend all-day Kindergarten as part of Issue 5.
General financial questions and answers
Q. Why does the Franklin County Auditor's website indicate a different cost for Issue 5 than what the District has stated?
A. The calculations offered on the auditor's website are made as if the permanent improvement levy and bond issue were new millage when in fact they are both no new millage. We are working with the auditor to clarify this information on their site. The cost of Issue 5 is $207 per $100,000 of home value, per year.
Q. How is Dublin City Schools funded/What percentage of the budget comes from the State of Ohio?
A. About 80 percent of Dublin City Schools’ budget comes from local property taxes. Only about 10 percent is provided by the state of Ohio. State funding varies from budget cycle to budget cycle.
Q. Do apartments generate property taxes?
A. Apartments generate property taxes like any other piece of land. Click here to watch a short video by Treasurer/CFO Brian Kern on this topic.
Q. Does new construction cover the costs of educating students?
A. While the District does receive some revenue from new home construction, it is not enough to cover the costs of a growing enrollment. Part of the reason is House Bill 920. Voted issues do not grow over time and can never generate more than was originally approved by the voters. Click here to watch a short video from Treasurer/CFO Brian Kern about this topic. Additionally, the District's cost per pupil exceeds $12,000. In other words, one home valued at approximately $700,000 will cover one student's education per year.
Q. Did the District “give away” revenue via the Bridge Park Cooperative Agreement?
A. The opposite is true, we have gained significant revenue.  Without Dublin City Schools’ participating in the Bridge Park Cooperative Agreement, Bridge Park would not exist. The area that is now Bridge Park used to be underdeveloped land consisting largely of vacant retail space and a golf driving range.  The failed strip center and driving range there produced tax revenue to the schools of just $149,000 per year.  Bridge Park has been a great addition to our community AND the TIF Agreement between the City and the Developer is now providing the District with $1.5-million in revenue every year for the next 30+ years.  That is ten times the revenue the District would be receiving if Bridge Park had not come into being.  The revenue is currently being used to fund the District’s one to one Chromebook initiative. Bridge Park is not producing new students.Only five students new to the District are living in those many apartment and condo units as of late September 2018.
Q.  If the cost of Issue 5 is the lowest since 1986 ($207 per year, per $100,000 of home value), what were the costs of some past issues?
A.  Past issue costs include $213-2012, $244-2011, $242-2008.
Q. When will the District stop growing?

Q. How can I request an Absentee Ballot?

Q. I'm new to the area, am I registered to vote? 
School district property taxes fast facts
• ALL Dublin City Schools residents pay Dublin City Schools property taxes. The municipality, county, or township in which you live is irrelevant when it comes to school district property tax. If you live within the District’s boundaries, you pay Dublin City Schools property taxes. The residents of Jerome Village pay Dublin City Schools property taxes, as do the residents of Columbus, and the residents of Union and Delaware counties.
• Dublin City Schools is funded largely by local property taxes, while the City of Dublin is funded largely by a 2% municipal income tax paid by those who work in Dublin. These two revenue streams are not shared between the agencies.
School district boundaries fast facts
• The boundaries of Dublin City Schools and the City of Dublin are not contiguous. Our District consists of 47 square miles, three counties, and multiple city and township jurisdictions. 
• About 43% of our 16,500 plus students do not live in the City of Dublin. 
• Not all of the City of Dublin lies within the boundaries of Dublin City Schools. The Ballantrae area in the city is located within the Hilliard City School District.
• Your postal address, which county you live in, which city you live in, or which township you live in, have no bearing on what school district you reside in. 
• By Board of Education policy, the District does not accept tuition students who live outside district boundaries. You must live within the boundary lines to attend school in Dublin City Schools. 

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