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Important Message from Your Board of Education
An Important Message From Your Board of Education
By Kenn Synek, President

On behalf of the Board of Education, I am writing to inform you about an important matter that is currently being contemplated by your elected representatives on the Independence Local Schools Board. Board members are faced with many choices along the path to providing the best educational opportunities possible for our children. Balancing the daily learning and classroom experiences with long-term investments in buildings, technology, and equipment while remaining fiscally responsible has always been a focus of ours. We strive to keep our Independence Local Schools up to the premier standards our community expects, not just for today, but for decades to come. In the process of developing the district’s soon-to-be-released Strategic Plan, the Facilities Committee conducted multiple meetings, site visits, and inspections of our facilities, and analyzed our Five Year Capital Improvement Plan. This work confirmed what our district leaders have known for quite some time: our primary and middle schools are in serious need of significant and costly physical and mechanical improvements. Air conditioning for improved indoor air quality and comfort, electrical system upgrades and modernization, roofs, windows, and technology for engaging students in a 21st century learning environment are at the top of the long list of improvement needs.

For many years now, the district has struggled to keep pace with the increasing needs exhibited in our Five Year Capital Improvement Plan. The list of needs (not wants) in this plan continues to grow, and they far exceed the funds available. After much careful thought, deliberation, and debate, the Board has discovered a unique potential solution for our capital improvements funding problem.

The Board is exploring the possibility of re-allocating 2.15 mills of inside millage from the general fund to the permanent improvement fund. If enacted, this change in inside millage would provide the revenue stream necessary to maintain and improve our facilities, and make them a source of community pride. This change would also have an impact on your property taxes, which would increase next year by about $60 per $100,000 of market value. The Board will hold a public hearing and vote on this matter at its meeting on Tuesday, February 20 at 6:30 pm at the middle school.

If the proposal to move inside millage is approved, it will generate funding of approximately $1 million per year that is required by law to be used exclusively for capital improvements (not salaries). These much-needed funds would allow the district to accelerate the Five Year Capital Improvement Plan, and will ultimately put our school facilities on par with our marvelous city-owned facilities, such as the Civic Center, Elmwood Park, and City Hall.

The quality of the public schools is one of the key factors in measuring the health and desirability of any community. Strong schools = Strong community. I personally believe that changing inside millage is the right plan, at the right time, for the greater long-term good of our Independence community and our students. If you have any questions or concerns, please give me or any of the board members a call or send us an e-mail. We would welcome and appreciate your input on this very important issue.

Our contact information is listed below.

Kenn Synek

Lynne Laski
Vice President

Ron Bernstein

Joanie Mencl

Carrie Sears
More information can be found in the winter 2018 Independence Quarterly newsletter.  Click here to read. 
Invite to Community Meeting on February 20 
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Education Administration Center  |  7733 Stone Road  |  Independence, OH 44131
P: (216) 642-5850  |  F: (216) 642-3482 | Hours: Mon-Fri 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM