Licking Heights, a district made up of five buildings serving 3,400 kids is facing severe challenges — unfortunately not uncommon among Ohio school districts. Facing declining tax revenues and the loss of revenue as a result of state lawmakers eliminating the tangible personal property tax in 2005, the district has been forced to cut $3.5 million since 2008.
The district has already taken cost-savings measures including charging students fees to participate in sports and activities, and it has held off hiring even as enrollment swelled, resulting in higher class sizes.
Now, the district is coping with the loss of another $1.3 million in what was an overall $1.8 billion reduction in education funding in the last two-year state budget. The cuts have forced the district to reexamine its ability to maintain programs in the face of new, looming deficits, necessitating another $2.3 million in spending cuts in fiscal years 2013 and 2014. [Read more...]