After significant feedback and interest expressed at a community input session after the Board of Education business meeting on November 19, Loveland City School District Superintendent Dr. Amy Crouse is announcing the creation of an ad hoc, short-term advisory committee to assist the board in crucial decision-making over the next couple of weeks. The committee, made up of residents of voting age, will help determine whether an operating levy for the schools should be put on the March 2020 ballot. A combined operating and permanent improvement/bond ballot issue for the schools failed by a wide margin two weeks ago.
“The November 5 vote was a clear indication that we missed the mark with our proposal to the community,” said Dr. Crouse. “Many of those who rejected the combined ballot issue have expressed that they care about education and that they want to help create a plan for an operating levy that the community can support. How to resolve our facility issues will be put on hold for now.”
The purpose of the advisory committee is to bring people from all sides of the issue together to determine whether there is sufficient support by voters for an operating levy as early as March, and if so, what it should look like. The advisory committee will join and work directly with the Board of Education during the discussion at the November 26 and December 3 board meetings. The meetings are open to the public and anyone is welcome to observe and listen.
If the recommendation is to put an operating levy on the ballot in March, the board will need to pass an initial resolution of necessity on December 10, have it certified by the county auditor, and pass a second resolution to proceed on December 17. The content of the ballot issue must be submitted to the board of elections no later than December 18.
“Due to the time constraint posed by the deadline to submit ballot language, the advisory committee has been assembled very quickly,” said Dr. Crouse. “The committee will study the financial issues facing the district and determine if it is possible to make adjustments to the budget so that a reasonable proposal can be presented to our voters at the March election.”
If the committee recommends not to place an operating levy on the March ballot, the district would likely wait until November 2020, which would require additional adjustments to the operating budget.
“We will be looking very closely at our budget,” said Dr. Crouse. “We have critical decisions to make quickly that will affect our students, the education at Loveland and this community as a whole.”
Although the advisory committee has a specific purpose for a limited period of time, Dr. Crouse is hopeful that it will continue in some form to provide the essential information from residents that the board and the administration need going forward.
“At a time when the community needs to heal by coming together, a dialogue has begun,” said Dr. Crouse, referring to the facilitated input session on Tuesday evening. “We are exploring various options for how to establish a process and forum for ongoing, close conversation with our community.”