Enrollment at Ohio's public colleges and universities has fallen for the second year in a row amid state and federal efforts emphasizing graduation rates over student totals.
The Columbus Dispatch reported Sunday that more schools are laying off employees, freezing travel and reviewing academic programs after enrollment declines and funding reductions.
Statewide enrollment figures show the number of students in college rose rapidly after the 2007 financial crisis then dropped almost 6 percent in 2012 and another 2 percent this year, the newspaper reported.
Just a few blocks from the Centerville Board of Education office, neighbors weigh in on opposite sides of the school levy debate.
Credit WYSO/Lewis Wallace
Six Montgomery County school districts have new tax levies on the ballot this November, some for the third, fourth or fifth time. But many homeowners oppose any new taxes, citing losses in property values and the overall post-recession fiscal squeeze among reasons to vote against new levies.
The Greene in Beavercreek. Like many city school districts, Beavercreek depends on property tax levies for a significant portion of school funding.
As we move towards election day Nov. 5, the Beavercreek City School District is among those pleading with voters for new levy funding. The district has had four recent levies defeated at the ballot box, and is now returning with a fifth, reduced levy of 6.3 mills. The emergency levy would cost property owners about $18 a month per $100,000 of appraised property value.
School levies are among the biggest issues on the ballot in the upcoming November 5, 2013 election. Ohio schools depend on these levies as an essential funding stream, and many are facing new or additional levies that can be difficult to pass.
Money for Ohio’s public schools comes from three sources: federal funds, state funds, and local tax levies.
“Levies then become the source really of their chief operating funds,” explains Mark Smith of Cedarville University. “For most cases those local schools are very dependent upon those local property taxes.”
Wittenberg students evaluate a lot for a potential rain garden.
Credit Sarah K. Fortner
The City of Springfield has partnered with a Wittenberg professor and her Geology class to tackle an ongoing problem with storm overflow waste going directly into Buck Creek during rainstorms. The new partnership has come up with a plan to help fix the problem.
Springfield has an aging sewer system and when it rains all the stormwater goes into the same pipeline as the city's sanitary waste. The city has increased in size but the pipeline hasn't, and so there's an overflow of raw sewage.