All things EHS all the time


All things EHS all the time


All things EHS all the time


Rockwood tax difficulties

Reprinted from the September 2011 issue of the Bugle.

The district shaved $3,371,000 off of the school budget for the 2007-2008 school year.

$5,342,660 was cut in 2011-2012.

In total, $22,374,120 have been cut from the budget since 2007, according to the district’s Guiding Change website.

As for fiscal year 2013, the district is expecting the to be short another $7 million, according to a financial presentation made by Mrs. Shirley Broz, chief financial officer, presented to the Board, Aug 18.

In the latest attempt to balance a growing budget during a time of shrinking funding, the school board considered putting a tax levy on the November 2011  ballot.

“They’re spending all this money that we don’t have and then expect us to pay when we have no money,” Kim Brenner (12) said. “I don’t understand how we’re supposed to do that.”

The referendum was first proposed by Rockwood’s Board of Education in May 2011.

“Our biggest need is the replacement of revenues, which we thought we’d be getting from the state, but we are not receiving,” Mrs. Broz said. “For the way the legislation was put in place in 2006, we had anticipated more revenues as the formula was phased in over a seven-year period, which we aren’t getting, so the dependence on local revenue like the tax levy and real estate has become larger.”

The district has not raised taxes since April, 1994.

With every 10 cents of taxes levied, the district would receive $3.2 million of additional revenue.

But as of the Aug.18 board meeting, the levy was postponed and will not be added as an option on the November ballot. When the BOE will put it on the ballot is undetermined.

“One of the points we tried to make on August 18th is that we can’t just decide to raise taxes. We can decide to ask the public for that,” Mr. Steve Smith, board president, said. “We heard, not simply at that meeting but over the last few months, that there are some misgivings. What we heard on the 18th was not particularly new, and the opinions expressed were pretty strong.”

Over half of the people who took a survey conducted by the district disapproved of the levy being placed on the November ballot.

“We’ve heard from a number of our constituents,” Smith said. “We’ve had a survey taken. We decided at the last meeting to not do that in November and put it off.”

Raising money is not an easy task.

“We should have more fundraisers and dances for EHS,” Sam Sanders (12) said. “We only have two official dances that raise money for EHS. My step-brother’s school up in Washington has at least five.”

$7 million is a lot of dances. Additional cuts are being considered. Reductions in budgets for extracuricular activities, reducing high school staff by four full-time positions and reducing the number of administration and college counselors in the high school are just a few of the budget cuts proposed for FY13.

Board members realize what a tax increase could could mean for patrons in today’s economy.

“There is never a good time to ask for a tax increase,” Dr. Bruce Borchers, superintendent, said. “When you go for a tax increase, you want to make sure that your community has all the information they need to make a good decision.”

The Board of Education still continues to talk about the idea despite the strong opinions coming from the community.

“The impact on people varies,” Matt Doell, director of the Board of Education, said. “As a community, Rockwood tends to be more affluent than some of the other areas, but there are people in Rockwood for whom any tax raising is going to be difficult because some people don’t have jobs. It’s not a decision to be made lightly.”

The board represents the patrons.

“You always hear the phrase, ‘Think of the taxpayers,’ and the truth is that I am one,” Doell said. “I didn’t think people would be positive about it, but people move to Rockwood because of the schools, and people are very supportive of the schools.”

The Board of Education has postponed the levy for now, but the discussion has only been delayed.

“There hasn’t been a final decision yet, but it is a possibility it may be added to the ballot in April,” Dr. Borchers said. “There are more opportunities to ask the communities in the future, but no final decision has been made.”

For more information…

Picture Rockwood website:

Fingertip Tip Financial Facts:

Guiding Change:

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