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Dr. Jeff GrahamANSWERS TO FAQ ABOUT ISSUE 37

Election Day is just two weeks away, and I'd like to share answers to some of the frequently asked questions I've been asked about ISSUE 37, the Lorain Schools general operating levy on the ballot November 2nd.

If you have a question not addressed below, please give me a call at (440) 830-4000 or contact our levy committee by emailing the levy committee at this link. The Citizens for Lorain Schools committee is made up of community and district volunteers who are extraordinarily responsive and happy to help in any way to ensure our kids and schools succeed -- we are truly blessed.

Why does Lorain City Schools need this levy?
The Lorain City Schools Board of Education knows that every dollar is precious to our community, and has maintained the goal of being respectful to our community by going back on the ballot as infrequently as possible. Our district has been very efficient with taxpayer dollars, stretching district funding well beyond its originally intended lifespan. In fact, the district hasn't had to ask residents for any new funding for nearly a decade. 

As a good steward of taxpayer dollars, our district has stretched local funding as far as it can go. And now, without new money, our schools face a $14 million deficit by fiscal year 2023 that is projected to grow to $66 million by the end of fiscal year 2025. By law, school districts cannot operate in deficit funding, and therefore, we must go to our community for new funds or drastically reduce spending by eliminating needed staff and supports.

Does ISSUE 37 provide all the money the district needs?
Actually, no. However, after polling the community, ISSUE 37 represents the amount of millage our residents said they would support -- which is 6.8 mills, or $4.1 million annually for operating expenses. This new money, combined with district-wide cost-saving measures, will enable us to continue our trajectory of educational supports for the children of Lorain.

Can't you just cut your budget more to reduce the deficit, and not ask for new money?
Yes and no. School districts have many fixed costs and contracts which are in place and cannot be altered or cancelled, by law. But more importantly, we are in the process of rebuilding our school system and providing every student in our care with educational excellence and wraparound supports as our community recovers from the pandemic. We cannot cut our services and supports and then hope to also provide a better future for our children.

But what about all of money that went to schools in the form of COVID relief?
Due to the restrictive nature of the one-time funds, we cannot just put all of those funds into the general fund for annual costs. Each dollar must be approved by the state prior to its use, and it is largely to help pay for unexpected COVID costs and educational needs to mitigate, measure and react to any significant learning loss during the pandemic. Learn how ESSER funds are being used here.

What if this levy doesn't pass? Doesn't it just go on the ballot again?
If ISSUE 37 does not pass on November 2nd, our district will need to make deep cuts to staffing and programming, all of which are necessary in order for us to regain local control and exit HB70. Without ISSUE 37, the district will have to go on the ballot again, but the millage will have to be larger, making the levy more difficult to pass.

Why didn't you ask for money sooner?
The district began deficit spending in 2020 (meaning, spending more than it took in), however, COVID hit our community much harder than most, and our Board of Education wanted to honor that by not asking for money during such a difficult time.  

My child goes to a charter or parochial school, why should I support this levy?
Public school funding follows students enrolled in charter and private schools, so every vote counts. 

Do your taxes as CEO and Superintendent go to support the school district?
Yes! My family moved to Lorain in June 2020, ensuring our tax dollars benefit the Lorain City Schools. In addition, my wife's parents reside with us, and as past educators, are two more "YES" votes for Lorain City Schools.

Additional information about ISSUE 37 can be found on our website at lorainschools.org/Issue37, and advocacy as well as ways to volunteer and show your support for the Lorain Schools Levy can be found on the website and Facebook pages maintained by the Citizens for Lorain Schools.

Thanks,

Jeff

MORE NEWS YOU CAN USE
FREE VACCINE AND FLU SHOT CLINIC | Lorain County Public Health will again be offering a mass vaccination clinic in partnership with our schools. The clinic will be held Saturday, November 13th from 9:00AM - 1:00PM in the Lorain High gymnasium. Register by clicking on this link to secure your spot for a free COVID-19 Vaccine or Flu Shot, or both! 
 

SUBSTITUTE TEACHER PAY INCREASE | Subs have been difficult to secure for school districts everywhere. In order to attract the best candidates for our children, the Board of Education has increased sub pay from $110 to $200 a day. Please share this information with anyone who would be a great influence on our kids, and who can lead with grace and love. Applications are being accepted at lorainschools.org/subs.
 

NEW QUARANTINE GUIDANCE FOR SCHOOLS | We have updated our quarantine policy in response to the new guidance released by Lorain County Public Health for school settings:

QUARANTINE | Students and staff who exhibit COVID symptoms should stay home and get a COVID test. Same day appointments are available through our MercyHealth Clinic at Washington Elementary. Call for an appointment at (440) 370-5446.
  • Any individual who has been confirmed positive through a PCR test must isolate for 10 days before returning to school.
  • STUDENTS who are close contacts may participate in school so long as they wear a mask and are asymptomatic. Students with symptoms must adhere to quarantine guidelines.
  • ADULTS who are close contacts and unvaccinated may return to work after day 7 after receiving a negative PCR test result - to do this you need to be tested on day 5 or 6 of quarantine
  • ADULTS who are close contacts and who are fully vaccinated do NOT need to quarantine, unless they have symptoms


WINTER SPORTS  |  As we prepare to enter winter sports season, all fans will be expected to wear masks while on premises. Only students participating in their athletic competition or heavy practice may remove masks during the course of play. Coaches may temporarily lower masks as needed during coaching.
 

COVID DASHBOARD | Get the latest information about our COVID-Safe procedures, internal contact tracing process and case counts on the COVID DASHBOARD here.
WE ARE LORAIN CITY SCHOOLS
   
WATCH MORE VIDEOS AT THIS LINK
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
  • Tuesday, October 26 | Board of Education Meeting - Regular | Lorain High Auditorium | 5:00PM
  • Friday, October 29 | NO SCHOOL | Parent-Teacher Conferences
  • Tuesday, November 2 | ELECTION DAY
  • Tuesday, November 2 | Professional Learning Day
  • Saturday, November 13 | COVID Vaccine and Flu Shot Clinic | Lorain High Gymnasium | 9:00AM - 1:00PM
  • Wednesday, November 24 - Friday, November 26 | THANKSGIVING BREAK
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