The Lakewood Board of Education voted unanimously at its November 25 meeting to take the first step to place a 3.9 mill levy and 1 mill permanent improvement (PI) levy on the March 17, 2020 ballot that will not increase the tax rate for the community. The additional resources will help the District to expand academic programming, retain and recruit professional staff, expand the preschool program, bolster mental health services, and maintain District facilities.
This preliminary step to officially placing a levy on the ballot was to approve a resolution declaring the necessity to levy an additional tax for current operating expenses and general permanent improvements and requesting Cuyahoga County to certify the total current tax valuation of the school district and the dollar amount to be generated by the levy.
Due to sound financial practices and operational efficiencies, the District has not requested additional operating revenue since May 2013. Because the District has refinanced and advanced refunded over $100 million in debt service in the past six years, some of the District’s current debt is expiring. This allows the District to pursue a much needed levy that will keep its funding stable and result in no new tax rate.
With the District’s expenditures expected to outpace revenue beginning in 2020, the Board of Education determined it would be in the best interest of the District – and the educational excellence that residents expect – to return to the ballot.
“We are grateful for the community’s support and will continue being good stewards of the public’s dollars,” said Superintendent Mike Barnes. “These proposed new resources will help provide the tools and programming our students need to succeed in a complex and changing world and do so with no increase to the tax rate.”