Information for the 2018 Bond & Levy
Q: What will the funds from Issues 9 and 10 do for Worthington Schools?
A: Voters in the Worthington City School District approved Issues 9 and 10, a bond issue and an operating levy, on the November 6. Issue 9, a 2.56-mill bond issue, will yield $89 million to ensure that we have the capacity in all of our schools to keep up with our district’s student growth. Issue 10 is an incremental operating levy that will be phased in over time, so we only generate the funds when we need them. The levy will start at 2.9 mills and increase by 2 mills each year until it reaches 8.9 mills in the fourth year. These funds would help operate and maintain programs in our schools as our student population continues to increase.
Q: How much growth is there in our enrollment?
A: Worthington City Schools’ enrollment has increased by 1,000 students in the past five years. With growth expectations of another 800 students over the next five years, we must reduce overcrowding, update aging buildings, and upgrade classrooms to accommodate modern teaching methods. We are currently using modular classrooms and shared spaces as a temporary solution, but that is not sustainable. Our schools need to address these serious issues now in a way that will also provide for a successful future.
Q: What is the difference between a bond issue and an operating levy?
A: By state law, bond issues can be used to pay for capital improvements, such as buildings, buses and technology. Meanwhile, operating levies fund the day-to-day operation of the programs that use and rely on those capital improvements. This includes instructional resources, salaries, benefits, and utilities.
Q: What will the bond issue money be used for?
Half of the Issue 9 funds will be used to rebuild Perry and Worthingway middle schools, and to renovate Kilbourne and McCord middle schools for all sixth- through eighth-grade students. The other half of the money from Issue 9 would be used to make improvements to other school buildings, replace outdated technology, and buy new buses. These are all recommendations that emerged from the Worthington Schools Master Facilities Plan, presented in 2017 by the Community-led Task Force.
Q: Why do some of our schools need to be replaced instead of restored?
A: Our oldest school, Kilbourne Middle School, was built in the 1930s. Our newest school, Worthington Kilbourne High School, was built in 1991. When we partnered with the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission several years ago, they told us that 7 of our 19 schools may be more cost effective to replace than to renovate to modern state standards. Schools that were built in the 1950s and 1960s, like Brookside, Colonial Hills, Thomas Worthington High School, Wilson Hill, Worthington Estates, and Evening Street are all schools nearing the end of their useful life. Roofs, windows, boilers and furniture are just a few of the operational items that are beginning to cost more to maintain than they would to replace.
Q. What is the timeline for construction projects and converting from K-6 to K-5?
A: According to the Facilities Plan developed by our community, we are already meeting with construction companies and reviewing schedules. Our Board of Education would like to approve the design in July 2019. The plan calls for groundbreaking and construction in the middle schools to begin in early 2020.
Q. What is the timeline for the change in the elementary feeder pattern to balance our high school enrollment?
A: A community task force will be formed to discuss the change for one of our elementary school feeder patterns from Thomas Worthington High School to Worthington Kilbourne High School. By moving a feeder pattern and not redrawing border lines, we can keep peers together with their classmates. The plan calls for a the move to be made for the 2020 school year.
Q. When will Worthington Schools be on the ballot again?
A: Our promise to voters is that with the passage of Issues 9 & 10, we will not be on the ballot for at least four years.
Levy & Bond informational videos released prior to the election: