Levy and Bond issues placed on ballot for Worthington school district voters
Worthington City Schools is looking to pass two issues Tuesday that would add millions of dollars to its operation and construction budgets.
District leaders say Issue 9 and Issue 10 would help elevate overcrowding as the schools have taken in 1,200 more students since 2012 with no additional state funding.
“Students need spaces to learn, right? Students need adequate spaces. Our teachers need spaces,” said Dr. Trent Bowers, superintendent of Worthington City Schools. "All of our elementary schools, all 11 of them, are at the program capacity or above their program capacity."
Dr. Bowers said the district has had to add modular classrooms to two of its elementary schools, including Colonial Hills Elementary, to gain space. They’ve also moved some kindergarten classrooms to its middle school buildings and rent out more classroom space at a nearby arts center.
Issue 9, a 30-year bond package, would raise $89 million if passed. That money would be dedicated to buying new school buses, make school repairs and rebuild Perry and Worthingway Middle Schools.
Issue 10 would focus on hiring more staff and keep current teachers employed. It’s an operating Levy that would increase by two mills for the next three years and generate nearly $3 million in fiscal year 2019. In fiscal year 2022, those funds increase to $16 million.
Worthington City Schools leaders predict enrollment to increase by another 800 within the next five years. Despite that, they say they’re loosing up to $7 million annually from the state as they’re considered a “capped” district. That means they don’t receive the full amount owed from the state’s school funding formula.
You can check how the levy and bond could effect your property tax bill with the Tax Levy Estimator here.