Coventry Local School District has been undergoing an important transformation since entering fiscal emergency four years ago. In that time, Coventry’s new superintendent, treasurer and Board of Education, along with the support of our dedicated teachers and staff, have worked diligently with the state of Ohio to reduce costs, improve educational quality, reduce class sizes, and right size our district.
Since 2016, Coventry has reduced annual expenditures by over $2 million, or 9.5 percent of our budget. For comparison, the cost of living has increaed by 6.5% during that same time. We have reduced expenses by liquidating multiple properties, reducing administrative and staff positions, thoughtfully managing enrollment numbers, and paying down debt. Meanwhile, our amazing teachers and staff have successfully increased our state performance index score percentages at every building level during this transformation.
Despite our progress, we are not yet where we need to be and there is still much work still to do.
The Coventry leadership team is currently pursuing multiple strategies to further reduce costs and unlock resources to improve educational quality for our students. Among those strategies are reducing transportation costs, exiting detrimental contracts, restructuring debt, managing personnel expenditures, right sizing our facilities footprint, managing our enrollment numbers and exploring cost effective alternatives for health insurance. We are working diligently on these initiatives and expect to make substantial progress in the near future.
On March 17, we are asking voters to renew an existing levy that generates just less than $2 million annually. Voting yes for this renewal will not increase your current taxes. Passage of this levy will allow Coventry’s leadership team to continue our transformation and cost saving initiatives while improving educational quality.
It is true that if this levy does not pass Coventry will be forced to substantially reduce costs. Unfortunately, this type of immediate and forced reduction would be chaotic, inefficient and extremely detrimental to the students and families in the district while also impacting the quality of education we are able to provide.
I believe there will come a time where we will be able to reduce the tax burden placed on our residents, but we are not there yet. As board president, I ask that you consider voting yes for this renewal levy and allow Coventry to continue our transformation in an efficient and orderly manner. With your support, the future of Coventry will be bright.
President, Coventry Board of Education