Hello Independence Families,

In January, the Independence Board of Education approved the final resolution to place a school funding initiative that will be on the ballot for the community to consider this May.  The current emergency operating levy, which was initially approved by voters in 2011, is set to expire in December of 2024.  This levy generates $4.2 million of operating funds for the district - roughly 20% of our total general fund for expenses.  The ballot language will include a renewal of the $4.2 million and an increase of $3 million per year for operations.  This will be the first time the District has proposed that the community consider a levy for additional operational funds in 12 years.

The emergency levy renewal would cost a taxpayer $251 per year per $100,000 of house value.  The requested increase would cost an additional $201 dollars per year per $100,000 of house value.  Therefore the renewal with increase, would cost just under $38 per month per $100,000 of house value, with the increased amount accounting for $17 of that total.  The district’s gross tax rate currently is the lowest in the county and would remain among the lowest in the county with the proposed levy.

Economic impacts over the past years have affected Independence Local Schools, resulting in a need for the Board to place a levy on the ballot for the community’s consideration.  While district operations are structured to be as fiscally responsible as possible with the funds that currently are available, costs to provide student supports and learning opportunities are exceeding our revenue.

As a result, if passed, funds from the levy would be used, in part, to implement universal and tuition-free preschool for all four-year-olds, beginning with the 2024-25 school year, along with continued delivery of our classes, clubs, sports, technology, curriculum, and opportunities for our students.

Please be on the lookout for our spring 2023 Independence Quarterly newsletter all residents will receive in the mail, along with our spring State of the Schools video for more information about our programming, opportunities for student success, and funding.

Yours in Education,

Ben Hegedish