Forest Hills School District Tax Issue Passes on May 2 Ballot
May 2, 2023
On May 2, 2023, Forest Hills School District’s 6.9 mill combination levy consisting of a 5.4 mill operating levy and a 1.5 mill permanent improvement levy was approved by voters. With the levy, the District plans to maintain similar levels of staffing and programs in the schools.
Even with the passage of this issue, the District will continue to implement about $750,000 in cost reductions at the end of the current 2022-2023 school year. These cost reductions are necessary to reach a balanced budget in the 2023-2024 school year and beyond.
“I want to thank the Forest Hills community for their commitment to educating our young people,” said Superintendent Larry Hook. “Since I stepped foot on the job here, I have been laser-focused on supporting staff and students and finding ways we can be more efficient and effective in our delivery of the highest-quality education possible. The passage of this levy provides a more stable financial situation, allowing the school district to focus on our students.”
The approved levy will generate $10.5 million per year in revenue for the district, costing taxpayers approximately $242 per $100,000 of appraised home value annually, or $20.13 per month. The new operating dollars will be used to maintain class sizes and programs, ensuring the district's continued success in meeting the needs of its students. The permanent improvement portion of the levy will allow the district to redirect operating dollars from maintenance back into educational programming and utilize the permanent improvement dollars to maintain the district’s schools and assets.
“We are proud to provide our community with a fantastic return on their investment,” said Treasurer Alana Cropper. “Forest Hills has a long history of providing a high-quality education at a residential tax rate and cost per pupil below the Hamilton County average. Simply put, this means we stretch our resources where it matters most and we are 100% committed to continuing on that path.”
Due to the realities of school funding in Ohio, this result does not eliminate the need for future ballot issues down the road. But, FHSD will work diligently to stretch these valuable dollars as far as possible and find new ways to operate even more efficiently.
Superintendent Larry Hook sent the following message to FHSD families after the Hamilton County Board of Elections released its unofficial election day results.
Forest Hills Families,
I am thrilled to share that our district’s May 2, 2023, 6.9 mill combined operating and permanent improvement levy was approved by voters. Thank you to everyone who shared their voice and made this a reality!
This is great news for current students and for all the future generations of students who will attend Forest Hills School District. We remain committed to doing everything we can to ensure that we are maximizing every dollar in our budget to impact student achievement and growth. Now, we also have dedicated resources to address facility maintenance and keep up the buildings in our care.
We do not take the responsibility lightly to continue to steward these dollars with great care and intention. It is important for us to move forward with the plans we have shared to reduce $750,000 in our current operating budget for the upcoming school year. We will do our best to remain nimble and efficient where we can while being unwavering in our commitment to the quality of education and experience our students get here in Forest Hills.
As we move forward and plan and prepare for the upcoming school year and all the years ahead, we will also stay in close communication with you and the wider community about how we plan to manage and invest these funds in our students. As we’ve explained over the past few months, the passage of this levy does not eliminate the need for future ballot issues down the road. But, I will work diligently to stretch these valuable dollars as far as we can and find new ways to operate as efficiently as possible.
Thank you for your support of Forest Hills School District and the role you play in the continued success of our students. The future is bright in Forest Hills and I am looking forward to partnering in our educational mission with all of you.
Let’s make it a great day to live in the Forest!