Brian Massie, Citizen Journalist
I attended the Mentor School Board meeting on November 1, 2022 to hear Mr. Bill Wade educate the school board members on the school district’s current financial status, and their options with future property tax levies to ensure that the district does not run out of cash.
I will give Mr. Wade an A+ for his overall presentation, delivery and graphics. It was truly top notch, and the children lost a great teacher when he decided to enter the administration side of education. I first met Mr. Wade when he was the Superintendent of the Kirtland School District. That district continues to be the top district performer in proficiency scores…and their football team continues to amaze the Kirtland community.
Here is a summary of the meeting provided by Mr. Wade to LFC:
1. The renewal levy needs to be passed by the end of calendar year 2024 (November 2024 election would be the last attempt if needed). If it doesn’t pass, there would be a loss of over $15 million in annual revenue.
2. The discussion was to look to have a 2.5 mill PI (Property Improvement) levy passed by November of 2023 to start collecting in 2024 (half collection for FY24 and full year collection in FY25).
3. The discussion was that IF a 2.5 mill levy passed and the corresponding expense reductions were implemented based on the presentation, we will still need to have additional general operating funds. It was our recommendation (Mr. Heath and me) to keep that as close to 5 mills or less. That being said, with our current expenses outlook that would likely need to happen in May or Nov of 2024. We also discussed that the current expense trajectory needs to be adjusted and we were tasked with finding roughly $2 million dollars in cuts through a variety of areas to reduce spending while not impacting student achievement and safety.
4. Yes, the one year imbalance that the graph shows is because it was decided to add staff due to covid. The data from FY 22 (last school year) has not been released in the analytic tool I use to update the graph yet. When it is I will share that with the board/community.
Here are the graphics Mr. Wade used in his presentation:
We will give the entire Mentor School Board a word of caution. If they continue to proceed on their current left leaning political “woke” agenda alienating many parents and taxpayers, passing any future levies will be challenging.
“GO WOKE, GO BROKE” will be the “battle cry” of the opposition.
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