March 2022 Meeting Documents

Last Updated: 4/4/2022 5:18 PM

Superintendent Bratten's Presentation - Financial Outlook

Paul Fallon's Presentation - Survey Results

 

Stow-Munroe Falls Facility Committee Meeting #15 | 3/23/2022 | Discussion Summary

Community Survey Results
The Facilities Planning Committee met in March 2022 to continue discussions around shaping the future
district school buildings. Scott Campbell, Director of Operations, kicked off the meeting introducing Paul
Fallon, who the District hired to conduct a community-wide survey to inform planning efforts moving
forward. Paul, with Fallon Research & Communications, Inc., surveyed 300 randomly selected adult
residents in the Stow-Munroe Falls City School District via text and phone interviews during a 10-day
period in January 2022. The results of the survey reflect a +/- 5.65% overall estimated margin of error,
with a confidence interval of 11.3% and are intended to provide a sampling of opinions around the
District, school buildings and financial outlook.
Key takeaways from the survey include:
 Residents, specifically parents exhibited contentment and satisfaction with the school system
 There was little concern about the rate of growth which suggests that it may not be a significant
consideration of the public but may require explanation from the District on why it is creating
the need for facilities expansion.
 The high rating for the quality of education indicated confidence in the school system to
perform is core function of capably educating students; however, there was some ambivalence
towards the performance of managing finances.
 There were few concerns about the building conditions which implied an absence of urgency
and a lack of awareness of current plans being explored.
 The community was highly supportive of repairing, renovating and rebuilding the facilities which
may be a result of the trust and confidence in the school district.
 All various aspects of the plan tested showed support by both parents and non-parents.
 There was a slight disparity between parents and non-parents about the prospect of fewer
elementary schools that could be explored.
 The public was desirous of having new and improved facilities but unaware of how the plan
would be financed.
To view the full detailed report of the survey results, please visit the Facilities Planning page on the
District’s website.

District Financial Outlook
Following the review of the community survey results, Tom Bratten, Superintendent, spoke about the
district’s financial outlook. He expressed the desire for the committee to learn more information about
the District’s financial standing to inform the planning process.
Superintendent Bratten reported on the revenue received by the District due to the COVID-19 pandemic
including ESSER 1, Corona Relief Fund, American Relief Plan, ESSER 2 and how these funds were
primarily used to meet student needs, address learning loss, teaching staff, personal protective
equipment supplies, online support materials and other related areas.

A loss of over $1 million from the budget by state funding in May 2020 due to the pandemic significantly
impacted the District’s finances. The funding was restored in fiscal year 2021. Only 30% of the District’s
funding comes from the state of Ohio whereas 70% of funding comes from local revenue. A chart
illustrated that Stow Munroe Falls effective millage as of 2020 is at 33.402 which is lower than most
neighboring school districts in the area.
A review of the past and upcoming levy cycle was shown including:
 2011: New Operating levy approved
 2016: Permanent Improvement Levy - $2.4 million approved for District permanent
improvement projects/special projects. Note: these funds cannot be spent on personnel or for
operational purposes
 November 2022 – potential Operating Levy
 2023, 2026, 2031 – Renewal Emergency Levy (expiring in years noted; reflects no new
money/zero tax increases)
If an operational and bond issue were passed, it was shared that Stow Monroe Falls millage would fall
under Kent City School District at 46.75.
Superintendent Bratten provided background on the District sharing that student enrollment has
remained steady. With new developments taking place across the District, an increase in enrollment is
expected. Efforts have been taken to right-size the District over the years to match current enrollment
numbers. The District has created operational savings to offset costs including reductions in energy
savings and building levels along with utilizing the Ohio School’s Council consortium pricing for various
items, among other efforts. In addition, educational savings have been implemented to offset costs
including utilizing e-subscriptions, grants and consortium pricing for various items, reviewing grade level
numbers annually, among other efforts.
Given this information, Superintendent Bratten shared that with no increases in budgets, resources or
expenditures, at the end of 2023, the District is projected to end the year with a positive balance of just
over $3.7 million. At end of 2024, the District’s cash deficit is projected to be $4.5 million.
Results from the CUPP Report FY2021 were reviewed showing a comparison of surrounding districts:
 SMFCSD is the 2 nd in the area with the highest percentage of students with a disability
 SMFCSD is the 5 th in the area with the highest percentage of disadvantaged students
 SMFCSD is the 2 nd highest pupil to administrator ratio at 156:1
 SMFCSD is the lowest instructional expenditure per pupil
 SMFCSD is the 2 nd lowest operating expenditure per pupil at $12,104.36
Key takeaways from this data were emphasized:
 The $1 million in reduction from state significantly impacted the District and from which they
have never fully recovered
 Stow Munroe Falls is one of the lowest tax rates in Summit County
 The District has been diligent in finding savings in all possible areas over the past 11 years since
no new revenue sources have been received

 The District is significantly higher than the state’s similar district average number of students
with disabilities, which in turn costs more to educate
 The District’s administrator and principal to student ratio is higher which means there are more
students under each administrator’s supervision.
 The District spends significantly less operationally and instructionally per student compared to
other districts
If a 6.93 mills operating levy was approved, the District would still be one of the least taxed districts in
Summit County.
With no increase in revenue and repercussions of rising inflation (7% in 2021), the District will no longer
be able to maintain costs.
The meeting concluded asking the committee to reflect on the following options:
1. Pursue a combined operating levy and bond issue
2. Pursue a bond issue, followed by an operating levy at a later date
3. Pursue an operating levy now, followed by a bond issue at a later date
Superintendent Bratten shared that he was interested in feedback from the committee around these
options to share with the Board, who will ultimately decide. He reinforced that no decision around these
options has been made at this time.
The next committee will take place in April 2022 at a date and location to be determined.

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