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Olentangy Schools

Mar. 9 Meeting Summary

March 9, 2023 Meeting

Board President Kevin O’Brien encouraged the community to provide input on the search for the district’s next Superintendent through the Superintendent Search Community Questionnaire, which is open through March 16. Targeted focus groups begin March 10, and Olentangy parents are invited to participate in a focus group at Liberty High School on Tuesday, March 14 at 6:00 p.m. 

Dr. Libby Wallick represents Olentangy on the Ohio School Board Association (OSBA) Board of Trustees. She shared the OSBA’s strategic plan update and revised vision statement. At the OSBA’s Central Regional Spring Conference earlier this week, the Olentangy Academy programs of STEM Academy and Teacher Academy received Outstanding Program awards and Principal Rob Griffiths and Olentangy High School were recognized as a Central Region Blue Ribbon Outstanding School. 

Brandon Lester reported that the Facilities Committee was made aware of significant construction supply chain challenges in the planning for new buildings. Dr. Kevin Daberkow met with the School Advocacy Committee to discuss aligning efforts with other groups that will be similarly impacted by House Bill 1, and the committee continues to focus advocacy efforts on ensuring the Fair School Funding Plan provides tax relief for Olentangy residents. 

Liberty High School Intervention Specialist Dora d’Amato and Olentangy High School Intervention Specialists Kelly Gallmeyer and Brock Walden were joined by two of their Specialized Learning Center (SLC) students to present on the activities and lessons of their life skills classes. These classes teach functional academics which challenge students with academic skills while simultaneously preparing them to be independent adults. They instill these lessons through community outings, volunteering, fundraising to support the program, in-school jobs, vocational training, social opportunities, and classroom academics. The goal for the students is independence in life after Olentangy. 

The 2023 State of the Schools event was on Tuesday, March 7 and welcomed students, staff and families from all 27 schools in the first school showcase to share programs, courses, school groups and initiatives from their building. Following the showcase, attendees enjoyed performances by the Olentangy High School Key-Notes and a presentation on the strategic plan by the District Leadership Team. 

View the Key-Notes performance and the 2023 State of the Schools presentation here

Treasurer Ryan Jenkins presented detailed legislative updates to ensure the Olentangy community is aware of two key bills making their way through the House of Representatives. First, House Bill 33 is the biennium budget bill for FY24-25, which continues to phase-in the Fair School Funding Formula. This will increase Olentangy’s funding from an increase of 33.33% in FY2023, to a 50% increase in FY2024, and a 66.66% increase in FY2025. These funding increases would continue the pathway to fully fund the fair school funding formula by the end of the 2026-2027 biennium, and provide more relief to our Olentangy taxpayers. 

Second, House Bill 1 is the bill that addresses property taxation and income tax rates. In reviewing the intricacies of the bill, Mr. Jenkins demonstrated that the effect of the bill would not be recommended for Olentangy residents. 

First, the bill would eliminate a 10% non-business property tax credit to homeowners, shifting 10% of the tax bill back to homeowners rather than being paid by the state​. 

Second, the bill would eliminate the 2.50% owner-occupied tax credit for homeowners and replace that 2.50% credit with a flat $125 credit. The value of a home will drive whether this is an increase to the homeowner, but in Olentangy, homes valued over $300,000 will generally see an increase in the taxes they pay. 

Third, the bill will decrease income taxes to a flat 2.75% of Ohio taxable income above $26,050. 

Fourth, the bill will decrease taxable values of real estate by reducing the assessment percentage from 35% to 31.5%. Taxes are levied on 35% of the value of a home. In subsequent years, the assessment percentage will drop in proportion to inflation. However, Ohio law equalizes tax rates. If home values drop, voted tax rates will increase to offset that.  

For example, if inflation is 2%, the assessment percentage will drop 2% to 30.87%. The assessment value of a home equals its market value multiplied by the assessment percentage. So the bill would take a $400,000 home and change its assessed value from $140,000 (35% of $400,000) to $126,000.  But tax rates, measured in mills, will generally rise by 10% for voted levies to offset the decrease in value. 

What does this mean for Olentangy residents? Voted levy tax rates will increase to offset the 10% reduction in property value​. Yet the District will still lose about $3.147 million from the general fund in the first full year of collection because the millage on inside mills does not increase, and because some levies will increase to the gross voted rate and no higher​. The District will also lose permanent improvement collections and debt service millage.  

 While decreases in income taxes for our residents will be higher for those with higher incomes (a feature of a 'flat tax’); for typical Olentangy taxpayers (tax payers with a median income of about $125,000 and median home value of about $400,000), the offset is negligible​. House Bill 1 will shift the tax burden to the local community and will offset any increases in state funding to Olentangy proposed by House Bill 33 and the Fair School Funding Plan, making future levies more difficult to pass​. The increase in property taxes will provide the perception that schools and local governments are receiving additional funding, but this will not be the case due to the loss of the non-business (10%) and owner-occupied (2.50%) credits. 

Mr. Jenkins and the Board of Education urged the community to visit the Ohio 135th general assembly to stay abreast of House Bill 1 as it develops over the next few months and share feedback with Senator Andrew Brenner and Representative Beth Lear: 

Senator Andrew Brenner, District 19: 614-466-8086, Brenner@OhioSenate.gov
Representative Beth Lear, District 61: 614-466-1431, Rep61@ohiohouse.gov

School advocacy resources are posted to our district webpage, including the School Funding 101 masterclass presentation. Other opportunities to discuss the impact of House Bill 1 could be to attend local township meetings, as local government organizations would also be affected, and attend the State Legislative Conference on March 21 at the Sheraton on Capital Square.  

Chief of Administrative Services Randy Wright presented a draft of the 2024-2025 district calendar. The proposed calendar includes a school start date of Thursday, August 15, which is in line with Olentangy’s practice to start school on the third Thursday of August, allowing school to end prior to Memorial Day weekend. Other school breaks include the standard days off for Thanksgiving, a two-week winter break, and spring break the last week of March.

A thought exchange will be shared next week to collect community feedback on the proposed 2024-2025 district calendar.  

The livestream of the Olentangy Schools Board of Education meeting on March 9, 2023 is available on the Board Meeting livestream web page. The Board of Education 2023 meeting schedule has been added to the district website and the next regular meeting will be on Thursday, March 23 at 6:30pm. All meeting information and records are posted to the Board Meeting Records web page