BEAVERCREEK, Ohio (WDTN) – Beavercreek City Schools hasn’t passed a levy for new budget money since 2013. According to Superintendent Paul Otten, the district is essentially operating on the same budget it has for five years despite increasing state requirements and a growing district.
“It’s one of the reasons we see so much pressure,” Otten said. “We also have mandates from the state that are required but aren’t funded.”
Those mandates include pre-school, which Beavercreek receives no state funding, and special education, where the state provides $3 million, but costs the district $18 million. Other mandates require transportation for homeless students and classes that offer college credit.
The levy in November failed by just over 200 votes – less than one percent.
The school has two levies on the ballot in May. One is for 6.15 mills and for “emergency requirements of the school district. A separate 1 mill levy is a renewal for permanent improvements. Both levies run five years.
If we fail in May, we would go back to the voters in November. Failure then would lead to the dismantling of the district.
The 1 mill levy collects funds to maintain the school. The 6.15 mill levy would bring Beavercreek’s budget back inline with what Otten said was the district’s needs in 2018.
Otten said the district is seeing just under 100 new students a year. Its elementary schools are at max capacity. He said considering new developments on the east side of town, the school could see 1,200 new students in the next decade.
From 2013 to 2017, Beavercreek has gained 300 students.
If either levy fails, the school would turn to voters again in November. If the levies were to fail then, it would be a traumatic loss to the district. The November levy that failed cost 34 employees their jobs.
“With the levy that failed in November, we saw pretty significant reductions,” Otten said. “If we fail in May, we would go back to the voters in November. Failure then would lead to the dismantling of the district.”