Issue 111- From One School Board Members Perspective
Issue 111- From One School Board Member’s Perspective
By Donna Sudar
Many community members have questions about Issue 111, the upcoming bond issue on the ballot on November 8, 2016, which will fund new school buildings for the Euclid City School District.
This article attempts to answer some of those questions.
What is Issue 111?
Issue 111 is a 7.9 mill bond issue on the November 8 ballot. If voters approve Issue 111, the school district will be able to “Finish the Job” of providing new school facilities for all of Euclid’s students, using $40 million from the state of Ohio to rebuild Euclid High School, build a new middle school and expand our Early Learning Center with a new facility at the Forest Park site. Issue 111 will also assist in improvements to Memorial Park. The school district will also work with the Cleveland Metroparks to create green space, walking trails and recreation at the Central Middle school site.
What will Issue 111 do?
Issue 111 will provide up-to-date buildings and learning environments for all preschool, kindergarten, middle school and high school students. Studies have shown that the learning environment significantly impacts instruction and achievement.
How will Issue 111 impact education for younger learners?
Issue 111 allows the district to expand its Step up to Quality 5-star-rated Early Learning Center to educate twice as many of our earliest learners, resulting in more children entering kindergarten with the skills they need to be successful in today’s rigorous kindergarten classrooms. Our Kindergarten students will also become part of the Early Learning Village. This developmentally appropriate learning environment will focus on the literacy skills our kindergarteners need to meet the Third Grade Reading Guarantee.
How will Issue 111 improve education for our high secondary school learners?
Issue 111 will allows our highly successful Career Tech programs to have new and improved facilities, our schools will be able to provide expanded career and technical education offerings at Euclid High School, and partner with more local businesses to provide the training and knowledge that employers demand. Issue 111 also allows the district to provide college credit classes to more students, saving families thousands in tuition.
What happens if Issue 111 doesn’t pass?
Without Issue 111, the district will still need to make $20 million in repairs to keep the high school, middle school and Early Learning Center warm, safe and dry.
How has the Euclid Board of Education and State of Ohio coordinated efforts to rebuild Euclid’s schools?
Euclid’s most recent school building initiative began as a result of the creation of the Ohio School Facilities Commission (OFCS) by Governor Taft in 1997. The purpose of this commission was to oversee the construction of new K-12 school facilities throughout the state of Ohio. Senate Bill 272 was passed in 2000 by the 123 Assembly. This allowed the use of Tobacco Settlement funds in addition to locally generated dollars to be used to fund the building of new K-12 facilities. These funds were made available to districts through 2012. Working with the state, the Euclid Schools created a plan to replace our older and outdated facilities with modern facilities that would improve learning in our schools. In 2009, voters approved a bond issue that resulted in the construction of Euclid’s four new elementary schools. The state contributed 41 percent of the cost of the project. In the fall of 2012, Arbor Elementary, Shoreview Elementary, Bluestone Elementary and Chardon Hills Magnet School were opened.
In 2012, the state of Ohio continued providing support for capital projects proposed by state agencies, state supported universities and community colleges and public K-12 schools by creating the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC). The OSFC still exists as a branch of the OFCC, overseeing K-12 construction.
How long will state funding be available to Finish the Job?
OFCC funding is available for a limited time. At present, the Board is unaware of how long Ohio will continue to fund school construction as the funds are now allocated as capital funds in the State Biennial Budget.
How will Issue 111 benefit the community?
Passage of Issue 111 provides the schools the opportunity to partner with the city to make improvements to Memorial Park as well as work with the Cleveland Metroparks to bring green space, walking trails and recreation to the Central Middle School Site. It will also allow the district to expand their focus on health and wellness that will enhance the health of our students as well as our community.
The Euclid Board of Education is providing an opportunity for citizens to “Finish the Job” started in 2009. The benefits to Euclid’s children and community are clear. This board member is asking for your support of Issue 111 on November 8th. For more information visit finishthejobeuclid.com.
I am a 31 year resident of Euclid, mother of 4 children, President of the Euclid Board of Education and Director and Pre-K teacher at Euclid Cooperative preschool.