Editor's note: The following letter is reprinted without verbiage added by the Advocate in last week's edition.
A letter containing inaccuracies appeared in the March 6 edition of the Advocate questioning the Aurora schools' need for new funding.
The $591,000 additional funding proposed for the district by Gov. John Kasich is not a certainty and will only occur if the state Legislature passes the governor's proposed budget and also agrees to reimburse the district for transportation costs.
The district currently has more than 2,900 students and will operate within 5 percent of that level for the next several years. An examination of past five-year budget forecasts will reveal that the district's year-end balance would have gone negative within the next two fiscal years, despite a two-year wage and step freeze agreed to by our teaching staff and a similar freeze implemented for all administrative and classified staff.
The last two years Aurora lost $2.1 million because of state mandated cuts from business inventory taxes and more than $300,000 in reduced basic education funding. The schools will lose an additional $3 million in revenue the next two years from lost inventory taxes and reduced real estate tax revenue because of lower county property tax valuations. This totals $5.1 million in lost funds over the last four years.
The Aurora schools have been rated one of the most financially efficient districts in Ohio by an independent research organization. Our expenditures of $11,026 per pupil is above the state average of $10,597, but our revenue per pupil is $10,440 versus a state average of $10,851.
Our pupil to teacher ratio is 19.8 versus a state average of 18.5 and our pupil administrator ratio is 254/1 versus the state's 160/1. We are operating significantly leaner than most districts while ranking in the top 2 percent academically.
These facts are public record and verifiable for any interested citizen.
Gerald P. Kohanski, Board
of Education president