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Solon Schools to Cut 40 Teachers Annually to Aid with Budget Crisis

Because the state is revoking the personal tangible property tax and ending reimbursements, Solon stands to lose $10.7 million over eight years

The Solon school district is nearing a financial cliff, and if nothing changes with the way the district is funded at the state level, 40 teachers each year will lose their job for the next eight years, starting today, said Superintendent Joe Regano.

At a public meeting in the auditorium, the school administration went over the problem the district is facing with phasing out of the tangible personal property tax. Regano said the district stands to lose $10.7 million over the next eight years if nothing is done. That money makes up 18 percent of the district's budget.

"Our hope is that you will understand the problem and then understand that we're asking you to be here because we're telling you we can no longer do it," Regano said. "This is the Robin Hood issue of the '80s and the tangible personal property tax of the 2000s. It has reached a level that means we can no longer subsist on our current funding."

When House Bill 66 was passed in early 2005 to phase out the TPP tax,  a promise was made that hard-hit districts would be reimbursed by the state to make up for the loss of TPP dollars. That promise was not upheld after former Gov. Ted Strickland vetoed it in 2009. Now Gov. John Kasich wants to start phasing the money out starting July 1, and any tax that would have normally stayed local will go straight to the state, Regano said.

The district will lose $1.2 million every fiscal year for the next eight years on top of a 2 percent additional funding cut from the state. With the loss of this funding, Treasurer Tim Pickana projects the district will be facing a $20 million deficit by 2015. And a district cannot operate in the red.

To try and help the situation, the district asked the hundreds of people in the audience to write their lawmakers and demand a reversal. Regano, Pickana and school board President Julie Glavin will head to Columbus today to testify before the House Finance Subcommittee on Primary and Secondary Education.

"Write and write quickly," Regano said. "We're going to need every person in this room. If you don't do it, you're going to get it done to you. If you're going to stand, now is the time to stand. The premise of not being able to protect local funds will kill communities."

If nothing changes, Regano said parents can expect class sizes to rise, and the district will likely close an elementary building. Also, 40 teachers will lose their job each year. 

"This is a really serious thing," Regano said. "They literally no longer listen to us. It has to be the populace. If not, there's no hope."

For more information on this situation, check the Solon Schools website starting today. 

Here is a list of the representatives you can write or call to help make a difference. The address is the same for them all:

77 S. High St.

Columbus, OH 43215

 

Rep. John Carey

(614) 466-1366

Rep. Ron Maag

(614) 644-6023

Rep. Gerald Stebelton

(614) 466-8100

Rep. Matt Lundy

(614) 644-5076

Rep. Debbie Phillips

(614) 466-2158

Rep. Ron Amstutz

(614) 466-2158

Rep. Marlene Anielski

(614) 644-6041

Eric April 10, 2011 at 11:05 AM
If the State decreased all the funds doled out to all districts, than I would stand to agree with what I believe to be your premise. I take your premise to be, that if ALL things are equal children of parents like yourself will excel because of the home life you insure and support system you provide. Now if all this is true, over the years Solon has made conscious, majority approved, voting decisions that have provided a specified level of funding, that now stands to have a substantial portion severely reduced because our Solon industrial monies are required to be sent to Columbus, but now the State is redistributing those funds to other districts, I would think in an effort to improve other districts performance by throwing "our" money at them. Which is exactly what you alluded to being upset about above when you heard Michelle Rhee speak.
Eric April 10, 2011 at 11:09 AM
Before you get your red pen out, "tombe" was intended to be "to be"
mary April 13, 2011 at 06:45 AM
Eric- I , like Nass have 2 children in the Solon school district and my 14 year old tell me that the teachers are now constantly complaining about the stae of the district. They have got these children so riled up that I had to sit my daughter down and teach her about the word "propaganda". It's all hype! Listen, my children are starting school before school hours begin so they can fit an extra class in during the daily schedule. They take courses at Tr-C. I pay for those. If the band has a problem with the cuts they can do mega fundraisers. There are plenty of communities around that they can take some pointers from. Yesterday, I took down a flier from Borders that shows that Solon schools are sponsoring a panel on "A Parents Role in Teen Sexuality" this month. Hmmmm, good decsion huh?
mary April 13, 2011 at 06:51 AM
Nassman , I am not surprised to hear that the people in attendance at the City Club were rude to Mrs. Rhee. You have to take into account who they are. I'm just saying...... Your comments make me glad to know others in Solon are not having the wool pulled over their eyes.
mary April 18, 2011 at 02:49 AM
...@ Eric maybe you were raised by horrible parents. How am I to know? Why bring up such a topic you obviously know so little about and then throw your parents into the mixture? Do you want someone to call your parents horrible parents just for the sake of diagreeing with them? Come on, grow up and stop shooting off such immature comments. And do you have children in Solon schools? I am just curious. Thanks for your valuable time.

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