Let's Talk Brooklyn episode featuring Treasurer Mr. Marti Ferian and Board Member Mrs. Jennifer O'Banion discussing the upcoming levy/bond issue, financial updates, and school security.
Let's Talk Brooklyn episode featuring Treasurer Marti Ferian discussing the financial situation of the Brooklyn City School District.
House Bill 136: Statewide Voucher Proposal Legislation
As the Treasurer/CFO for the Brooklyn City Schools, I feel compelled to warn the community of the imminent financial disaster that will occur if House Bill 136 is enacted into legislation. H.B. 136 is also known as the Voucher Bill that will allow public tax dollars to flow from the public schools to support an individual's private education. Specifically, the financial impact for the Brooklyn schools can be summarized as follows: Currently, the Brooklyn Schools receives approximately $340 per student in State Funding. The Voucher Bill will approximately remove $6,000 per student to fund their private education, yielding a net lost in funding from the State of over $5,600 per student. I have attached the following information to inform the residents of Brooklyn of the key points regarding House Bill 136.
Information related to Biennium Budget
This is a copy of the letter sent to State Senator Skindell and State Representative DeGeeter. Please read through this letter as well as the attachments (in the "Forms" section on the right).
Additionally, you can find information regarding the Governor's Proposed Budget and its impacts on schools at Ohio's Office of Budget and Management.
Ohio’s school funding system is based on a theory of “shared responsibility,” where both the state and local community bear a proportional responsibility for making certain every student has the opportunity to receive an adequate education. Over the years, however, the unique fiscal and social characteristics of individual districts have combined with political realities to create a system that produces wide variations in spending, facilities, materials, and programs. Unfortunately, the “shared responsibility” has not been the case for the Brooklyn City School District. In fact, the Brooklyn City School District obtains very little in actual State funding and is considered by the State as being a very wealthy school district.
As the Superintendent and the Treasurer/CFO for Brooklyn City Schools, we have argued that the State is basing their funding on a flawed formula of “potential wealth” and not “actual wealth”. To obtain actual wealth, levies would need to be passed by the voters and assessed to our taxpayers. Brooklyn is the third lowest taxing school district in Cuyahoga County, thus lessening the tax burden on both our homeowners and our local businesses. With that in mind, determining a school district’s wealth on “potential wealth” only encourages school districts to pass levies to compensate for the lack of State support.
The Brooklyn Board of Education and Administration, in consideration of the current economic times and the impact a levy has on both our homeowners and our businesses, have chosen not to move forward with a bond issue to build a much needed middle school. Furthermore, we have chosen not to seek additional revenue from our taxpayers in the foreseeable future. These decisions, although tough, are meant to send a clear message to the State that Brooklyn Schools will be financially and academically competitive, in spite of having locally generated revenue removed from the District’s coffers (House Bill 66 [Removal of Tangible Personal Property tax] and Senate Bills 3 and 287 [Electric and Gas deregulation]).
Recently, the Governor released the Executive Proposed Budget for FY 2012-13 for consideration by Ohio’s General Assembly. This budget is proposing to accelerate the removal of reimbursements (H.B. 66, S.B. 3 and S.B. 287) and decrease State funding support. Information released by the State Office of Budget Management (OBM) as well as the Education Tax Policy Institute (ETPI) shows that Brooklyn Schools will lose over $2.4 million over the next two years and we forecast a total loss of over $4.3 million by June 30, 2015.
In consideration of the above information, we ask that you would bring an amendment to the Executive Proposed Budget seeking to change the basis in which the State determines a school district’s wealth. It would be our hope that the State would consider other factors that we believe more accurately represent a community’s wealth such as the percentage of participation in the National School Lunch Program, the community’s per capita income, and / or the community’s geographical location within the State.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Mrs. Cynthia J. Walker
Mr. Marti A. Ferian
Treasurer / CFO