COVENTRY TWP. State funding is a subject all school districts keep an eye on, and officials in the Coventry Local School District believe being labeled a "wealthy" district leads to unfair compensation.
During the July 11 board meeting, the board heard a presentation from Coventry Treasurer Mathew Muccio about state funding, who compared the amount the district receives compared to neighboring Green, Manchester, Barberton and Norton.
Coventry’s State Share Index is 32 percent, meaning it gets back 32 cents on every tax dollar. That is compared to 37 percent for Green, 44 percent for Manchester, 45 percent for Norton and 71 percent for Barberton. Muccio said if Coventry’s percent from the state was closer to the other districts, the district would have an opportunity for grant funding and special education funding.
Muccio also said the reason the index is so low is primarily because of Coventry’s high wealth index, which measures a three-year average property valuation divided by the district’s resident population. The index only factors in resident population and not open enrollment students.
If open enrolled students were factored in, Coventry would receive more state funding, but districts that don’t have open enrollment would lose out on funding, Muccio explained.
The proposed budget for the state by Gov. John Kasich could mean even more cuts to school funding, Muccio said. It is unknown if the budget is approved how much the district would lose, but the Coventry officials are planning accordingly for less state aid.
Board members thanks Muccio for all the work he put into examining the state funding and how the district compares to its neighbors.
In other business, the board:
- Heard a presentation from Superintendent Russell Chaboudy about the district’s finances and how Coventry has a positive forecast moving forward. He agrees with Muccio that state funding is an area the district needs to go after and see if any changes can be made. He also said that open enrollment was not the cause of the district’s financial problems. Chaboudy also said it is critical that voters pass a renewal levy in November to help keep the district on a positive path moving forward. During the August meeting, the board is expected to hear a list of potential cuts if the renewal does not pass in November.
- Approved a contract with Hank’s Refrigerator to service the district’s refrigerators.
- Approved a contract with Sight & Sound Communications for keyless entry systems for two doors at Coventry Elementary School.
The next Coventry Local Schools board meeting will be at 6 p.m. Aug. 9 at Lakeview Administrative Offices.