Why is a bond issue needed for Little Miami Schools?
The Little Miami Schools have reached capacity with no additional classroom space for future growth. The enrollment has increased by over 175 students EACH year for the past five years. Future enrollment projections show an increase of around 200 students EACH YEAR for the next 15 years. The Little Miami School’s enrollment is over 4,900 students for the 2017-18 school year, and the school district has a maximum capacity of 4,950 students.
How do we know the school district will continue to grow?
Hamilton Township was ranked #1 in residential home permits in 2016 and 2017 for Southwest Ohio. The 98 sq mile Little Miami area has a lot of open land that has not been developed so our growth will continue for many years.
What is being planned for this bond issue?
• A new 800 seat Pre-Kindergarten – Grade 1 elementary school will be built on the existing Salem Township Elementary site.
• The Intermediate school will receive an addition to create an additional 250 seats. The intermediate School was built in 2009 with a capacity of 800 seats. The Intermediate school has 741 students in 5th and 6th grades for the 17-18 school year.
• The Junior High school will receive an addition to create 600 additional seats. The Junior High school was built in 2009 with a capacity of 800 seats. The Junior High school has 747 students in 7th and 8th grades for the 17-18 school year.
• The High School will have a 42,500 square foot addition. This will include additions for academic space, athletic space, and other space for band and choir. The high school was built in 2000 with an addition in 2008.
• This bond issue will be phase 1a of Little Miami School’s Master Plan as discussed in their community meetings held in late 2016 and on August 30, 2017.
• Security systems will be reviewed and updated in all school buildings to meet safety concerns for students
Why is this Bond Issue urgently needed now?
Design and Building cannot start until after the Bond issue is passed. Current estimates show that the design and building process will take 3 years. Estimates show we will have at least 600 new students in 3 years which will be 5,500 students enrolled. Our schools have a combined capacity of 4,950 maximum across all six schools. Trailers, which are a huge security risk and drain on operating budget, will most likely be coming. A bond issue raises money that, by law, can be used only for capital costs – building construction, renovations, and vehicle and equipment purchases. A bond issue cannot be used for operational costs such as salaries. Little Miami Schools have proven to be fiscally responsible. Little Miami spends in the bottom third for pupil expenditures out of all 612 Ohio school districts. Little Miami Schools are spending $9,548 per pupil versus the state average of $11,603. However, Little Miami Students perform in the top 25% of all Ohio school districts.
How will the bond issue affect property values?
This Bond Issue protects Little Miami property values. Families move to Little Miami because the high quality schools offer a great education for students. Children need new schools and additions to current schools to ensure Little Miami can maintain their excellence while making room for inevitable growth.
What happens in the future after this Bond Issue is passed?
Outside expert consultants from Emersion Designs have worked with the Little Miami School District to develop student enrollment projections for the next 3-5 years and a master plan for the future. Our community may start growing faster than projected, and this Bond Issue will not solve projected future growth at the High School.
With 200 new students each year, more classroom teachers and staff will be needed to manage the increased enrollment. Staffing is the largest expense in the school district’s operating budget. For 2017-18 school year, 12 new teachers were added to the Little Miami staff due to increased student enrollment.
What will the bond issue cost?
The 3.6 mill Bond Issue will cost the owner of a $200,000 market value home $21 per month. The bonds issued will generate $64,600,000 for Little Miami School District to be repaid annually over a maximum period of 37 years.
The funds can only be used for capital costs, which includes construction, additions, and renovations of buildings, equipment for the buildings, and vehicles.
None of the Bond Issue funds can be used for operating costs such as salaries.
Didn’t Little Miami Schools have a financial crisis about five years ago?
The district was placed in Fiscal Emergency in 2010-11 by the State of Ohio because there was not enough revenue to cover district expenses. The school district made massive cuts in spending, increased class sizes, and cut teachers to the bare minimum as required by the State of Ohio, when Fiscal Emergency was declared and the State of Ohio took over. An emergency levy was passed in 2011 and it was overwhelmingly renewed in 2015.
The school district has continued to be prudent with spending and has an eight-month cash reserve to weather State of Ohio budget cuts and unexpected costs.
What will the designs look like for the new buildings and renovations?
The school district will have aerial photos with images of the school buildings on them which can be found on the school district website to help inform residents. Pictures of the aerial photos can also be seen on our Master Plan page. The State of Ohio does not permit the creation of detailed plans until the Bond Issue passes this November.
The Board of Education plans to build safe, functional, and cost-effective buildings that provide a high-quality education for the students of the Little Miami School District now and into the future.
May 2018 Primary Election
• April 10th 8:00am- 5:00pm (First day of Early Voting and Absentee ballot mailing begins)
• April 10- 13th 8:00am- 5:00pm
• April 16-20th 8:00am- 5:00pm
• April 23-27th 8:00am- 5:00pm
• April 30- May 4th 8:00am- 7:00pm
• May 5th 8:00am- 4:00pm (Last day to submit Absentee Request- 12:00pm)
• May 6th 1:00pm-5:00pm
• May 7th 8:00am- 2:00pm (Last Day of Early Voting & Absentee ballots must be postmarked by today to be considered on time)
• May 8th 6:30am- 7:30 pm Polling locations are open. (Last day to drop off ballots to the Board of Elections office by 7:30pm)
Early Voting Location:
Warren County Board of Elections, 520 Justice Dr, Lebanon, OH 45036