What is Issue 11?
Issue 11 is the North Royalton School Bond issue that will:
How was this plan created?
- Build a new elementary school to replace the 3 existing buildings, to share space and costs, foster collaboration and accommodate all day kindergarten
- Renovate the middle school for today’s learning environments and increased STEM programs
- Renovate and rebuild the high school to focus on student-centered learning
- Our kids will learn in up-to-date facilities with the educational tools critical for their future success including science labs, upgraded technology and flexible learning spaces
- The plan will save the district over $1 million every year in operating funds
This plan is the result of a Community Engagement Task Force made up of a cross-section of community members and experts studying our facilities for over a year. The Committee recommended this comprehensive solution. This plan is well researched, well thought-through and reviewed by third-party experts. Community input was gathered through a series of community meetings, surveys and local meetings. This plan addresses the educational and facility needs of all students and brings our buildings up to today’s educational and safety standards. Why is Issue 11 needed, I thought our schools have enough money?
Our district hasn’t had a tax increase in eight years. Since 2012, our schools have lost over $3 million in annual state funding. The cumulative funding loss is $12 million in four years. Our district spends the lowest per pupil in the entire county. We simply don’t have the resources to address our buildings in the right way without Issue 11. What has the District done to save money?
Our district has saved money by finding partnerships and efficiencies everywhere possible. Our district purchases healthcare, insurance, utilities and busses through a school consortium which maximizes value. Our district also partners in sharing resources with the City of North Royalton and the City of Broadview Heights to help us to lower our operational costs. How is the District transparent with its finances?
Our district was one of the first school districts in the county to participate in the Treasurer’s Office transparency project ohiocheckbook.com. This means the district’s books are online and can be easily viewed by anyone. The district receives clean audits and has earned Certificates of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the State of Ohio for more than 22 years.What happens if Issue 11 doesn’t pass?
The Board of Education recently outlined the educational cuts that will happen if Issue 11 is not successful. These cuts will take place next school year and are needed because resources will have to be redirected to make urgent, major repairs to the buildings. The status quo is no longer an option – we are either bringing the buildings to today’s educational standards in a comprehensive way or we will continue to put band aids on the problem by taking resources from education to patch our buildings. This is the last chance to pass an issue before major educational cuts. Here are the identified cuts:
Have Neighboring School Districts Passed Bond Issues?
- Laying off of at least 15 teachers and increasing class size
- Reducing transportation to state minimums –only bussing K-8 outside a 2 mile area and no high school transportation
- Closing all buildings immediately after school, ending community use of school facilities
- Eliminating support positions for curriculum, technology, maintenance and transportation
- Increasing athletics and music pay to participate fees
- Eliminating middle school sports and foreign language options, as well as field trips and gifted programs at all grade levels
- Reducing professional development
Strongsville recently opened their new middle school and completed renovations to their high school. Brecksville and Hudson are currently studying their facilities and will likely have an issue on the ballot soon. This November, Berea, Euclid, Fairview Park, Olmsted Falls and Westlake passed a bond or PI issues. Why did the District renovate the stadium before the buildings?
I hear that if the District hadn’t built a stadium that this issue wouldn’t be needed, is that true?
- In 2010, our District received a complaint from the Office of Civil Rights ruling that we were in violation of the American Disabilities Act and if we did not address those issues that we must stop holding events in the stadium. The cost to comply would have been about $1 million dollars.
- Instead of putting a band aid on the stadium which was built in the 1940s, our District addressed our overall stadium needs to expand use of the stadium.
- The overall project cost was $4.65 million. The North Royalton Stadium Foundation raised $1.24 million and the cell phone tower sale raised $525,000. The remaining $2.89 million is being paid over time through $200,000 from our existing permanent improvement fund.
- The amount dedicated to the stadium is less than 20% of the permanent improvement fund.
- The amount of deferred maintenance for the district is at least $3.5 million per year – far in excess of the district stadium cost.
This is not true, while there were some district funds used for the stadium, those funds are far less than is needed to upgrade our buildings. The existing Permanent Improvement Fund is nearly $1 million dollars in annual appropriations and pays for things like building maintenance, buses, technology and books and materials. The stadium project has $200,000 dedicated from the PI fund, only 20% of the available PI funds.
The maintenance cost for our buildings is far in excess of the permanent improvement fund and is growing each year – it is simply not possible to bring our aging facilities to today’s educational standards without Issue 11. How do North Royalton tax rates compare with other schools and cities in Cuyahoga County?
How will the community know that the bond proceeds are being spent wisely?
- North Royalton has the 3rd lowest administrative costs per pupil.
- North Royalton has the 3rd lowest total expenditures per pupil in our county - the bottom 9%.
- North Royalton has the lowest total revenue per pupil of any Cuyahoga County district.
- The City of North Royalton and Broadview Heights effective tax rates are both in the bottom 23% in the county.
- Our school district’s tax rate is the 8th lowest in the county.
- Even with the passage of the May 2017 levy, our effective tax rate will be the 9th lowest in the county - the bottom 30%.
The district will ensure an open and transparent construction process by creating a Community Construction Oversight Committee to oversee spending. The committee will include financial, construction and other experts and will report their work to the community. How much will Issue 11 cost?
Issue 11 is a 4.9 mill bond issue will cost $9.04 per month per $100,000 of property value [factoring in drop off of an existing issue] and will save the district over $1 million in operating funds every year.Are our students prepared for college and careers?
Our students are very prepared for college and careers. In the Class of 2016, 91% planned to attend a four-year or two-year college; 7% planned to join the workforce and 2% planned to join the military. The high school’s four-year graduation rate received an “A” on the Local Report Card. The high school’s curriculum includes approximately 200 course offerings in college preparatory and technical arts. Cuyahoga Valley Career Center provides students a variety of career and technical education programs during their junior and senior years. The high school offers 11 AP classes and 19 Honors classes.How can I hear more from the schools?
Our district has many publications for residents and parents. There are frequent updates on the website and Facebook, a monthly e-newsletter, a digital magazine, videos, community events and online communications. To sign up, visit bit.ly/NRSchools_Signup
and all archived communications are located at http://www.northroyaltonsd.org/PublicInformation.aspx