Solon Schools Funding Is A Green Issue, Not Red or Blue

The primary reason why many younger Solon residents call Solon their home is the high reputation and ranking of the Solon Schools.  According to a press release by Solon School District, the following provides an overview of the funding losses the Solon School district faces in the current budget proposal of Governor John Kasich and the best estimate of the impact on Solon Schools:

Estimated loss – Tangible Personal Property Reimbursement – $1,211,471 accumulating each year for 8-plus years until a total of $10.7 million is taken from the Solon School district.  This is 17.7% of operating budget and equates to over 9 mills of property tax revenues lost.

Estimated loss – TPP Reimbursement related to Permanent Improvement Levy – $79,825 accumulating each year for 4 years until a total of $319,299 is taken from the Solon School district.  This is 0.5% of the Solon Schools operating budget.

Projected loss of state foundation basic aid funding – $1,337,469 in basic state aid for FY12 and $961,582 in basic state for FY13 – The district currently receives $2,496,203 in state aid for FY 2011, which is approximately $490 per student.  Non-public schools receive approximately $900 per pupil. Under the new formula, Solon Schools are projected to receive a 53.6% and 38.6% decrease in funding for fiscal years 2012 and 2013 compared to fiscal year 2011 funding.  This reduction will result in state funding per pupil at $227 in fiscal year 2012.

Pension Contribution – The proposed changes in employer contributions to the state pension plans would save the district approximately $880,000 per year.

Total funding loss – Solon School district will lose approximately 18% of its total operating funds on an annual basis once the TPP reimbursement are completely eliminated in 8.5 years.  Solon School district has made more than $6 million in permanent reductions since fiscal year 2005 and frozen administrative, non-bargaining unit and supervisor salaries for the current fiscal year.  Solon Schools have already negotiated 0% wage increases for the next few years with OAPSE (Ohio Association of Public School Employees) staff, and will be negotiating a similar contract with the teaching staff in the coming months. Even with these reductions, and even with the potential of a reduced district cost of a 2% pension contribution, Solon School district cannot make the reductions to offset the lost revenues.

The Robin Hood effect and the state’s grab of local resources from the tangible property tax without corresponding reimbursement, combined with the state funding formula reduction, is approximately 10 mills to Solon local taxpayers (residential and commercial).

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