2007-07-14 / Editorials & Letters

Liberty Union gets state funding commitment for construction

Editor:

I recently received a copy of the July 7th edition of the Beacon and read the article concerning funding for Liberty Union-Thurston Schools.

Just last week the Ohio School Facilities Commission notified the District of the availability of funds for the state share of their building proposal.

Supt. (Paul) Mathews had met with me on April l0th of this year to raise awareness of the plight facing the district due to the unpredictable nature of the priority list we are required by law to follow. The frustration of constantly being told that money would be available and then having a new equity list push them out of reach again was certainly understandable.

The recent influxof dollars to our Commission from the Tobacco Securitization Plan in the state budget has allowed us to make funding commitments to school districts through #305 on the equity list (614 total districts in Ohio).

In April we began to structure a proposal to temporarily freeze the current equity list until the Tobacco dollars are spent. In reality that means that no district will be bumped to a higher position for funding if they fall in the l-305 range.This policy change will eliminate the uncertainity of "When?" that has faced high-growth districts in the past.

Liberty Union-Thurston also benefits from the fact that they have "locked-in" the local funding share at 40% by proceeding with their project rather than waiting on state dollars.

Governor Strickland's veto of a budget amendment will NOT affect funding for Liberty Union-Thurston!

As the new executive director at OSFC, I promised the supporters of the school that we would do everything possible to fulfillour part of the bargain to provide excellent educational facilities for all students.

It is my strong personal belief that we have a moral commitment to the boys and girls of our state. This is a commitment that is shared by the staff at the Ohio School Facilities Commission and Governor Strickland. These actions that have been mentioned strongly reinforce that commitment. Mike Shoemaker Executive Director Ohio School Facilities Commission

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