Oakwood: Levy success due to communication and community

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OAKWOOD, Ohio (WDTN) – Traci Hale is the Communications Relations Director at Oakwood City Schools, and she can’t remember the last time Oakwood schools had a levy fail. 

Hale said the school’s former treasurer – Kevin Philo – worked at Oakwood for 24 years and couldn’t remember a levy failing. 

“It would have to be beyond that,” Hale said. “I don’t know if anyone knows of one failing, and it would have to back at least 25 years if it has ever happened at all.”  

Oakwood has financial advantages. It’s 13th in the state in household median income, according to U.S. Census data. But ranked by property taxes, it’s below Union Twp., in Montgomery County and just above Harrison Twp and had the highest local income tax at 2.5 percent. 

 The funding is higher but not strictly out of range of other local communities, over half of which have municipal income taxes over 2 percent.  

“They have a good school system and they want to support it,” Ashley, a lifelong resident and Oakwood graduate said. “They keep everything nice here, my parents support it and it’s a nice neighborhood to live in. I went to school here, I liked it and they did a good job for me.”  

On May 7, Oakwood will put two levies on the ballot that will pass or fail with one vote: a 4.99 mill levy for day-to-day operations and a 2.17 mill that would fund the first plan of a district facility plan.  

The support has led to success for the district. According to Hale, the Ohio Department of Education ranked Oakwood No. 1 in preparing graduates for the future, but said the rankings aren’t as important as keeping graduates and parents as involved in the district as possible. 

“Our alumni association is really strong, Hale said. “Our teachers appreciate the communication with parents, and the parents take an active role in what’s going on in the schools. They attend events, take active roles and the teachers see that. It takes everyone.”  

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