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By AMY CROUSE
As the superintendent of the Loveland City School District, it is my responsibility to ensure that every child in our district has access to quality education while managing our tax dollars wisely and providing a good value to residents. I take this responsibility seriously.
Another responsibility I take very seriously is the dissemination of facts. This is why we have been hosting community chats and forums, such as the event held on September 12; it’s why we are constantly updating our website and addressing frequently asked questions; and it’s why we are so intent on engaging with our community. It is imperative that our residents have the facts in order to make an informed decision at the ballot on November 5. And some of what we’re seeing out there, well, it’s simply not accurate.
What is accurate is that Loveland City Schools have reached a critical juncture: We have overcrowding, with some classes being held in hallways and in trailers, we have three old buildings for which repair costs have reached the threshold where industry standards recommend replacement over renovation, and we have a need to secure additional operating dollars. The needs facing our schools are very real and immediate.
Over these last several years, we have spent time working with the community on a plan that is cost-efficient and meets the school district’s needs. This is the ballot issue facing voters with the Tuesday, November 5 election.
We realize that this ballot issue is no small ask. We also realize, like the community members who helped identify and prioritize the needs, that it is more cost-effective to do the work all at once and that the longer we wait, the more expensive it will be to remedy the needs facing our schools.
When considering this ballot issue, it is important to note that there is no zero-cost option with our facilities and the needs do not go away over time if we continue with the status quo. In fact, continuing to do so with our facilities comes at a substantial cost – we would need to divert funds from the classroom to pay for critical repairs, which are still only temporary fixes to problems that don’t go away. We would need to put off important safety and security updates in the buildings and continue to make do with antiquated science and technology laboratories and learning spaces. Large amounts of money would have to be spent on other temporary solutions, like trailers, instead of putting the dollars toward real solutions for the long term.
These are important considerations for our community – it comes down to how we want our schools to operate. So that you can be informed about the facts regarding the district work, planning and needs, I encourage you to visit the “Frequently Asked Questions” section on our website. Among other facts on this page, we have also included the updated cost information that shows the board’s intent to structure the financing so that the overall impact of the tax is phased in for residents over three years. This helps residents and it helps meet the school district’s needs.
Dr. Amy Crouse is the Loveland City School District superintendent.