DCS seeking levy renewal


This November, voters in the city of Delaware will be asked to decide on whether or not to renew a no-new tax 11.73 mills levy for Delaware City Schools.

The levy is a renewal of a 2010 levy that generates $9.4 million annually for the district.

Delaware City Schools Director of Communications Jennifer Ruhe said the levy represents nearly 27% of the district’s overall property tax collections, and the funds are used for day-to-day operations.

Ruhe stressed the fact the levy will result in no tax increase for residents. If approved, the levy will last for 10 years.

“This levy funds day-to-day operations, including staff salaries and benefits, curriculum materials, utilities, and fuel for buses,” Ruhe said.

She added the district works hard to be financially responsible and efficient.

According to Ruhe, the Delaware City School District spend less per pupil than nearly every other school district in central Ohio, “while maintaining quality education programs.”

The district cites the Ohio Department of Education to show it spends less per pupil than Upper Arlington, Columbus City Schools, Dublin, Buckeye Valley, Big Walnut, Olentangy, and the State of Ohio at large.

In May, District Treasurer and CFO Melissa Swearingen said the district will need to pass the levy in order to avoid facing a deficit. The board voted twice over the summer to place the levy on the ballot this November.

Swearingen said that with state paid homestead and rollback exemptions taken into account, the levy’s cost per $100,000 of home valuation is $359 per year.

Ruhe said the failure of the levy would result in cuts.

“November 3 is the only opportunity we have to renew this levy,” Ruhe said. “So if the levy were to fail, we would need to eliminate $9.4 million from our budget. Of course that would mean significant cuts across the district.”

The last day to register to vote in the November election is Oct. 5. Early and absentee voting begins Oct. 6, and Election Day is Nov. 3 from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. More information can be found at vote.delawarecountyohio.gov.

Signs supporting the school levy were assembled this week at Willis Education Center.
https://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2020/09/web1_signs.jpgSigns supporting the school levy were assembled this week at Willis Education Center. Jennifer Ruhe | Delaware City Schools

By Glenn Battishill

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Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

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