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Teens

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Teens
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Teen leadership
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BYDANARASMUSSEN
SnffWriter
drasmussen@tdnpublishing.
com
Troy Supt. Tom Dunn and
Treasurer Don Pence frelded
questions
about school fund-
ing Thursday from members
of Teen Leadership Troy.
Dunn asked the teens how
much they thought it cost to
operate the schools on a dailv
basis and the answers hL
received ranged from
$Z
mil-
lion to
$40 million. with the
latter being the closest to the
actual amount. The operating
expenses for the 2005-2000
school year came to almost
$Se million, according to
Pence.
Dunn explained to the stu-
dents that operating expenses
are for the day-to-day ele-
ments of running a school,
from teachers salaries to util-
ities. Operating expenses
tion under
way at the
high school
or Concord
and Forest
Elementary
schools
because
those are
being paid
for by a per-
manent improvement levy
the residents of Trov voted
for.
One student asked whv the
schools were renovated and
not rebuilt. Dunn said the
state came in and looked at
all the schools and said thev
should all be demolished ani
the district should build new
ones, but a new high school
alone would've cost between
$30-$40 million.
"We did a survey of our
community members and
asked them what they'd sup-
port," Dunn said. "People like
I See TEENS on
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our schools. We take good
care of them because we set
money aside for them. People
don't want to see us knocking
down the schools and building
new ones.tt
Sonia Gupta, L6, asked
why the schools are collecting
revenue generated by proper-
ty taxes when that source of
funding was determined to be
unconstitutional by the
Supreme Court. She suggest-
ed schools become funded by
an income tax instead. Pence
explained the reason behind
the current method Troy
schools employ for funding.
"With tax structure the
way it was, if we'd gone to an
income tax we'd have shifted
the burden
(of
funding the
schools) onto individuals,"
Pence said. "Tax laws have
changed so dramatically since
then that now
(an
income tax)
makes sense."
The income tax would
make sense now for schools
because of House Bill 66,
which eliminates the tangible
personal property tax busi-
nesses have had to pay in the
past.
Pence told the students
about this forgiveness oftaxes
on businesses and told them
that with that tax break the
schools will lose 29 percent of
the funding they received
from tangible personal prop-
erty taxes over the next five
years.
The state of Ohio said they
will make up the difference
until 2010 and then schools
across Ohio will have to find
other means to make up for
the loss.
Pence said the legislature
has to come'up with another
way to fund schools without
using property tax, but they
have yet to do so.
The reason the Supreme
Court declared the way
schools are funded to be
unconstitutional is because of
its inequity and inadequacy,
according to Pence.
Districts that are consid-
ered high weaith have more
money to spend per pupil.
In Troy,
$7,634
is spent on
each student, according to
Pence. Areas in southeast
Ohio spend much less per stu-
dent. In Beachwood City, a
suburb of Cleveland, $18,686
is spent on each student,
Pence said.
"People living in southeast
Ohio said
just
because we live
down here doesn't mean we
shouldn't get the same educa-
tion
(as
students do in other
regions)," Dunn said.
"Education ought to be equal
across the board."
Dunn and Pence made a
point to tell the teens that
schools do try to provide the
best education and opportuni-
ties they can for students.
"It's no different than what
your parents do," Dunn said.
"Parents look at what their
kids want and then they see
how much money they have
and then see what they can
afford. It's all about money. If
we could afford it, we would
get the things we want for you
that we wish we could afford."
Dururu