Kirtland Local Schools delivers a comprehensive, quality education to its students that consistently meets or exceeds increasing state and federal educational requirements. We have focused attention on personalized learning for each of our students. Our teachers are individualizing instruction and utilizing technology when appropriate to meet the needs of all students. This helps prepare our students for life after Kirtland by encouraging creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking.
Why do the Kirtland Schools need to seek a renewal levy?
- A renewal emergency operating levy was last approved in 2017. Seeking a renewal levy would allow for $2,280,000 to be collected yearly for the school district without resulting in a tax increase to homeowners.
- A new operating levy was last approved ten years ago in 2012. Since that time, operational costs have increased, but operating revenue has not. In fact, district revenues have been relatively flat since 2012.
- In May of 2021, a 0.95 mill increase was passed for permanent improvements. (This resulted in a $33 a year increase on a $100,000 home or $2.75 a month.) Permanent Improvement funds are limited in use and as a result, only can be used for property, asset, or improvement with an estimated life or usefulness of five years or more.
Seeking a renewal levy would allow the District to continue to support District operational needs, including providing for the educational excellence expected from the community. Examples District programs promoting educational excellence include, but are not limited to:
- Kirtland High School is a 2021 Best High School, based on rankings from the U.S. News & World Report. Kirtland High School is ranked #1 in Lake County, #17 in Cleveland and #52 in Ohio (out of 683 schools ranked in Ohio.)
- Kirtland Elementary School was named an OAESSA Hall of Fame School in 2019.
- Kirtland Schools provide a comprehensive K-12 art and music program that has been maintained to provide a well-rounded educational experience to meet the needs of the whole child.
- Kirtland Schools has 46 athletic teams and 34 clubs/activities in grade 7-12 because our schools value educating the whole child and providing opportunities to teach teamwork, self-discipline and self-confidence to handle competitive situations.
- Kirtland Schools implements STEAM and Technology education that begins in kindergarten to ensure our students have the skills necessary to compete in a global economy.
- Kirtland Schools integrates digital citizenship into the K-12 setting to keep our students safe and better prepare them for the digital world.
- Kirtland Schools provides 1:1 technology that provides our students and teachers with the tools necessary to maximize each student’s potential and meets the needs of our changing educational landscape in real time.
- KHS offers 15 Advanced Placement courses to challenge our students to meet the demands and rigor of college.
- Kirtland Schools provides K-3 Title I intervention support to identify and assist struggling students, to reduce gaps and to guide them on a path to success.
- Kirtland Schools provides increased college and career counseling at the high school to allow more productive discussions with our students, to align student strengths and interests to post-secondary goals, and to improve student outcomes post-graduation.
- Kirtland Schools provides a career speaker series to further support college and career readiness for students.
What measures have the District implemented to reduce costs and remain fiscally responsible?
- A Lake Health partnership provides $125,000 in sponsorship funds -- the district used $37,000 of these funds to extend classroom renovations and expand modernization into the middle school, and $13,000 for the music program -- and a $26,000 reduction on physician and trainer services.
- Cleveland Construction Inc. and architect Tony Bertone, along with several other companies, donated the full cost for a new agility room and stadium restrooms.
- Kirtland PTA donated $22,000 and Kirtland Athletic Boosters donated $11,000 toward a new electronic message display sign.
- Kirtland shares services with other school districts to save money. The treasurer, food service, transportation, buildings and grounds, technology and payroll all are shared with another district to reduce operational costs.
- Because of fiscal responsibility, in 2018, the Kirtland Local Schools earned the Auditor of State Taxpayer Hero Award for using innovative ideas to cut costs and increase efficiency to protect taxpayer dollars.
Has Kirtland Schools sought funding from other sources to help with facility and operational needs?
Yes, the district received a Straight A Grant from the state for $1,100,000 dollars to renovate the classrooms in grades 7-12. We received a transportation grant in 2018 for $225,633.20 to purchase 4 new buses. The Agility room off of the weight room was donated by Cleveland Construction and the Richard Small Foundation in 2017. In 2021, the district was awarded a Connectivity Grant for $95,040 to replace outdated student laptops. The schools received $20,000 from Martha Holden Jennings Foundation for staff professional development. The District continues to actively pursue additional available funding as well.
How are school Districts in Ohio funded?
Public education in Ohio is primarily funded by the local communities and the state.
Additionally, the federal government partially funds programs for students with specific learning barriers. Below is a breakdown of revenue sources on a statewide basis and how those sources compare for Kirtland Schools.
Other Non-Tax Revenue
Local revenue includes residential property taxes, commercial property taxes and public utility property taxes. State revenue includes state education subsidies, property tax roll back, homestead exemption payments, and casino revenue payments. Other non-tax revenues include student fees, interest income, facility rental income, revenue for services provided, and miscellaneous income.
The traditional funding system requires local property tax funding as the primary source of revenue, and the state subsidies are based on the community’s income wealth and property tax values. Last year, the State of Ohio provided $2,043.18 per student to Kirtland, which compares to a statewide average of $6,579.16. This figure is based on the identification of Kirtland as a high-wealth school district by the state.
The District’s current effective millage rate of 36.77-mills ranks 5th out of the 9 Lake County school districts. As a result, seeking a renewal levy would keep the District in the mid-range of school taxes in Lake County while allowing the District to continue providing an exceptional education.
For more information, contact:
Chad VanArnhem, Superintendent