Emergency Operating Levy Renewal with 25% Decrease

Emergency Operating Levy Renewal with 25% Decrease
Posted on 12/04/2018
Students at St. Bernard Elementary

SBEP Schools Emergency Operating Levy Renewal with 25% Decrease - Issue #4

On November 6, 2018, the residents of St. Bernard and Elmwood Place will have an opportunity to vote on Issue #4, which would renew, and decrease by 25%, an existing emergency levy that expires in 2020.  The levy was originally passed in August 2000 and renewed in February 2009.

The Board of Education has decided to request the renewal with a reduction of 25% in the amount of the levy for the next ten years. While the original levy collected $1,675,000, the renewal proposed on the ballot is only $1,256,250--a decrease of $418,750 in tax revenue the district will collect. Without the passage of this reduced renewal levy, the district will see deficit spending in fiscal year 2020.

Despite the funding challenges presented for St. Bernard-Elmwood Place Schools by legislation, the district continues to live within its means and to find new ways to be fiscally responsible. The last time the district asked taxpayers for new operating money was in 2006. Below are some cost-saving measures that have been taken, allowing the district to maintain a mere one percent average, annual increase in expenses over the past five years: 

• Consolidating duties has resulted in a reduction of staff. 

• Retiring staff have been replaced with new employees at lower salaries. 

• Substitute teachers are contracted through an outside source. 

• Participatation in an insurance consortium has resulted in 0% increase in medical premiums for four years. 

• Purchasing gas and electric on the open market has netted the best price for the district. 

• Utilizing purchasing consortia has resulted in cost savings for materials and supplies. 

• Membership in the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Group Rating Program has reduced total cost for this 


• Grant funding has been obtained to supplement and enhance district services.