Community conversations on enrollment growth will include funding

In November 2018, Dublin City School Taxpayers approved a combined issuance of an operating tax, bond and permanent improvement tax.

Funds from this show paid for the construction of Hopewell Elementary School, Depp Elementary School and Eversole Run Middle School and continue to pay for the daily operations of the district and improvements to our buildings.

We are truly grateful to have a community that understands our registration and has chosen to support our district over many years.

Schools in the city of Dublin have welcomed on average at least 300 new students per year since 1977. This is an extraordinarily long period to be in a period of sustained growth in enrollment.

Jerome Village was supposed to produce around 150 new homes per year, but now produces over 400 new homes per year, resulting in overcrowded conditions at Jerome High School. Some lessons take place in locker rooms because the school manages this overcrowded situation. To help mitigate this, 12 portable classrooms will be added to Jérôme for the start of the next school year, with a permanent addition slated to open in 2023.

A district building study conducted two years ago indicated that this long-term trend will continue until around 2036.

While enrollment growth presents a unique set of challenges, much of it is a positive force as it means people want to live in the Dublin School District.

Throughout this period of sustained growth, we have succeeded in bringing together the two longest intervals between direct debit requests in the history of the neighborhood. We do not intend to revisit the ballot until 2024. At this point, it will only be the second time in 12 years that we have returned to our community to seek support. While we don’t yet know what exactly this will entail, it will likely include additional schools to meet our growing enrollments.

You might ask yourself why does the district have to go back to voters? The answer is found in the House Bill 920. Approved in the 1970s, HB 920 prevents our voted taxes from increasing with inflation. You might hear terms in school finance like “effective rate” versus “voted rate,” and these refer to HB 920. Effective rate means the rate at which mileage is collected. In other words, as soon as a levy is voted, it can only generate a specific amount of money. As more and more people move into the neighborhood and pay the cashier, so to speak, everyone’s taxes go down slightly over time.

Another good news when it comes to taxes is that we will soon have a thousand dollars on our books, which will allow us to build more schools with a “no new thousandth” bond issue. In effect, we will be paying off the mortgages of some of our schools which will give us the financial flexibility to construct additional buildings without raising taxes.

We will continue these community conversations about growing enrollment and the most effective way to manage growing numbers of students. Thank you and thank you for your support to Dublin City Schools.

John Marschhausen is the Superintendent of Schools for the City of Dublin.

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