Name: Kevin Price
City of Residence: Bellbrook, Greene, Ohio
Party Affiliation: Republican
Office Sought: Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Board of Education – Unexpired Term
Why should you be elected?
I was appointed to my Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Schools (BSS) Board position in January 2020 and I want to continue serving my community. Why though? Simply put, I am at a phase in life where it is time to pay it back. This community and its school system have served my family oh-so-very-well over the 12 years we have lived here. Our 6 children attended BSS and were afforded educational opportunities they did not have in other places we lived as we moved around the country and world. The district has faced unprecedented challenges over the last few years…financial. COVID, etc.,. I believe as a father of a large family and experiences I have gained through a very long military career, living other places, traveling extensively, and working in a very diverse array of jobs, I am very well prepared to serve on the BSS School Board to address our challenges, keep the good things good, and where possible make improvements.
I worked very hard and successfully to address BSS’s severe financial challenges brought about by several consecutive levy failures. Fundamental to this was communicating honestly and clearly to the community about the district’s dire financial situation, explaining in a simplified manner the extremely complex topic of Ohio K-12 school funding, countering false/misleading information, and finding a compromise on the type, amount, and duration for a levy that would gain community support. Recognizing the negative impact another permanent property tax levy would have on our retired elderly, I strongly advocated for a limited period levy. A 7 year Emergency Levy finally passed in May 2021. I want to continue in my board position to help inform and guide efforts to migrate from near exclusive local property tax based school funding to alternative sources.
Top Three Priorities:
1) Fiscal stability and responsibility for the BSS District while advocating for a fiscally smart return of previous cuts made due to previous levy failures
I will lead efforts to find alternatives to our district’s current over-reliance on property taxes. Possibilities: 1) an Ohio income tax kickback to the district; 2) challenging the state to redefine its Fair School Funding Plan formula to obtain more state funding for districts like ours; 3) introduction of a local EARNED Income Tax (EIC) for our schools. The elderly would not pay EIC taxes on their retirement income and some/many of the current school property tax levies could be removed.
I will work diligently for a return of key services and educational opportunities such as busing and K-5 Art. I will call for the hiring of additional teachers to address overly large class sizes especially in grades K-5.
2) Safety and well-being of our children
Safe pathways to school are a passion of mine. I have visited crosswalks before school to make observations, identified issues with crosswalk light configurations, made reports when crosswalk lights have failed, and advocated for additional crosswalks. I have called for busing restoration which would alleviate the need for children in unsafe areas to walk to school.
For COVID, I have taken and will take a balanced approach. I currently support K-6 masking due to a lack of a vaccine for those children. To date I have not supported 7-12 masking since vaccination is an option. My positions are subject to change based on government and health provider guidance/recommendations. I will also strongly consider parental concerns, school administrator/teacher/staff inputs, and local realities (e.g., infection rates).
3) Transparency and openness
As a board member I have advocated and will continue to advocate for transparency and open engagement with the community. Those who have attended or watched our school board meetings online would have heard my frequent calls as a board member for improving two-way communication with our community. Examples of success: I called for complete meeting minutes to be posted on the school’s website to include how individual board members vote. Those are now posted. I have also advocated strongly and successfully for community meetings…the first occurred on Oct 19th!
— BSS School Board member since 2020
— Bellbrook resident since 2009
— With Joyce, parents of 6 children; all attended Bellbrook Schools
— Retired Air Force Lt Col (29 yrs, Fighter Pilot, Program Manager)
— Taught middle and high School
— Civilian employee at Wright Patterson AFB