As a retired treasurer of Coventry Local Schools, my goal was always to help the district move forward to provide the best educational experience possible for the children in our community. Now the district has been given a golden opportunity to provide our students with a brand new high school building, a gymnasium, and a three-building campus design that includes creating a comprehensive elementary building as well. This design alone results in an operating cost savings, as well as safety and security benefits.
After 34 years of service with the district, this is the most exciting opportunity I have seen come before us. This small 5.99-mill bond issue will not just provide the district with the funds needed for building, but also for future permanent improvements. It will also provide funds for repairs and maintenance that will no longer need to come from general fund operating dollars. This will provide relief of general fund money that may be redirected to operating expenses, such as salaries and eventually staff recalls.
It is important to understand that building and permanent improvement dollars (bond issues) cannot be used for operating purposes (daily expenses and salaries). Building, improvements, and maintenance from bond issues can, however, relieve the general fund expenses so funds are available for the daily operations of the district.
The district has recently been forced to cut staff due to the loss of operating funds from the state and a decrease in real estate tax collections. These decreases have been steadily occurring over the past several years, and the district has lost a great deal of money with which to operate the district. When revenue decreases, the only option is to decreases expenses drastically, and the only way to do that is to cut staff. Staff reductions always have a negative affect on our students.
While it is understandable that no one wants to see taxes increase during this state of the economy, this offer of $11 million dollars from the state is a one-time opportunity. A “no” vote now is a no vote for forever and for our future. There will be no next-time levy chance. It is crucial to our district that Bond Issue 4 passes on Aug. 7.
We, as a community, must rise to the occasion, step up and provide the necessary matching funds to accomplish this building opportunity. This is not just a matter of paying more taxes; it is an investment of your dollars in the future of Coventry Schools and our community.
Please visit www.supportcoventry.com for more information and support Bond Issue 4 on Aug. 7.
Lee Ann Weisenmiller