Election Day Less Than One Week Away

October 30, 2013

Deer Park Community City Schools is happy to host a polling location for the November 5 election this year.  The polling location will be situated in the Deer Park High School Auditorium area.  In doing so, we hope to offer a convenience for our community.  School will not be in session for students, as this day will be observed as a district-wide Teacher/Staff In-Service day.  

There are a few elections surrounding our district this season.  3 candidates are vying for a seat on our School Board and our district has placed Issue 19 on the ballot for an operating levy.  

Here are the FAQ's pertaining to Issue 19

What's the issue?
Issue 19

What is on the ballot?
On November 5, 2013, Deer Park Community City Schools has a 7.9 mill combination levy on the ballot. It is broken down into a 6.9 continuous operating levy and a 1.0 mill continuous permanent improvement levy.

What is the difference between an operating levy and a permanent improvement levy?
Operating levies provide the district with general fund dollars, which provide for the day to day operations of the district. Examples include salaries, benefits, contracted services, textbooks, technology and other items that are used in the daily educational environment.

Permanent improvement dollars can only be spent on purchases that have a useful life of five years or more. For Deer Park Schools, this can include building improvements and repairs due to the age of the buildings. Funds can also be used for technology, buses, and textbooks, in addition to other categories allowed by law.

Why the combination?
Due to the age of the schools, a great deal of maintenance has to be performed to keep them running efficient as possible for the students and staff. In addition, the technological demands of today's classroom have put a bigger strain on district finances. To keep Deer Park Schools moving forward, a combination levy can best serve the district's needs.

Why was it decided to go for a continuous levy?
A continuous levy allows the district to collect funds for a continuing period of time instead of going back to the ballot to renew after a fixed number of years. When the district held community engagements during Spring 2013, the overwhelming consensus was to stay off the ballot as long as possible. A continuous levy also allows the district to try and stretch the dollars further.

Why now?
The last levy of this type was passed in 2005. That was 8 years ago! Many factors contributed to this lengthy time off the ballot, including the Federal stimulus package, a building consolidation, and good fiscal management of taxpayer dollars.. Unfortunately, the last 3 years have seen approximately $1.5 million dollars in revenue loss. During this time the district has been able to keep costs in check, with a per pupil cost ($10,937) in line with the state average for FY12 ($10,597). The district is in need of new revenue in order to help replace what has been lost.

What happens if the levy passes?
If Issue 19 passes on November 5, Deer Park Schools will avoid a looming deficit. This allows the district to continue its focus on its goals of student achievement, increased rigor, and college and career readiness. The students and community both benefit as these goals are achieved.

What if it fails?
Essentially, we will need to cut our budget by $1,000,000 prior to July 1, 2014. The district went through a community engagement process to determine when to be on the ballot, and listened carefully to the many suggestions that were shared.

What will Issue 19 cost our residents?
The cost per $100,000 home would be $276.50 per year. This equates to $23.04 per month.