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Forest Hills Board of Education to Request Operations Levy

The Forest Hills Board of Education approved the first of two required resolutions to place a 4.7-mill operating levy on the November 2019 ballot. The operating levy will provide necessary funding for classroom instruction including high-quality staff, textbooks and supplies.

“Forest Hills School District has a long-standing history of protecting taxpayer dollars by operating in a fiscally conservative manner,” said Randy Smith, school board president. “We want to continue to provide the exceptional learning opportunities that define the Forest Hills experience, while safeguarding the community’s investment in our schools. The passage of a November operating levy will allow Forest Hills to uphold its tradition of excellence and total support for every student.” 

The district’s sound fiscal management is demonstrated in its ability to stretch the 2012, three-year levy to last seven years. This year, the district made $1.5 million in budget cuts from administrative, staff and operations restructuring in its continued effort to extend the 2012 operations levy.

“Throughout this school year we have engaged the public in a conversation about the direction of our school district and from the feedback we received, we decided to not place an operating levy on the ballot in May. Instead, in collaboration with teachers and staff, we made strategic budget cuts that I believe will minimally affect the quality of education we provide to our students,” said Scot Prebles, superintendent. “But, it is a fact that even with these reductions, the district is in need of additional operating resources. Now is the time.” 

Residents of the Forest Hills School District have a tax rate of 38.71, which is 15% lower than the Hamilton County average of 45.43, ranking 15th out of 22 districts. Additionally, the district allocates a majority of its budget to classroom instruction; 73 cents from every dollar goes to the classroom. The state average is 67 cents. 

“Our priority is to provide personalized learning, advanced placement courses and programs that prepare students for college, and extracurricular opportunities that create a well-rounded educational experience for students,” continued Prebles. “The community’s support for our work is paramount to our ability to continue this great work of preparing our students for their future.”

The November ballot issue will be a 4.7-mill operating levy issue, which will cost approximately $164.50 per $100,000 of home market value. Later this summer, the school board is expected to hold the second vote, which will officially place the levy on the ballot. For more information about the Forest Hills School District, click here.