(7-22-17) – For Celina City Schools open enrollment continues to be a problem…again. According to numbers for the 2016-17 school year Celina lost the most students of the six Mercer County School systems due to the process, 271 left, while only adding 59 who open enrolled in Celina.
Area Western Buckeye League schools also are on the minus side of the ledger. Van Wert lost 389, adding only 125, Wapakoneta lost 290, adding only 175 and St. Marys lost 137 students and added just 64.
In 2012, Superintendent Matt Miller told the Daily Standard:
…most of the students lost are from the Montezuma area, where the Franklin school building was closed years ago. The majority of those students open enroll at neighboring Marion Local.
The 2011-12 school year saw Celina lose 170, adding 71 students, only one other Mercer County school lost student numbers, St. Henry picked up 6 open enrollment students and losing just 9.
2011-12 District gained lost Celina 71 170 Coldwater 92 18 Fort Recovery 38 24 Marion Local 44 8 Minster 4 19 New Bremen 43 15 Parkway 81 40 St. Henry 6 9 St. Marys 23 32
In 2015-16 Celina lost 247 students and added just 45.
In a Daily Standard story (Tuesday, November 17th, 2015) current Celina Superintendent Dr. Ken Schmiesing told the BOE after sending out a survey of parents who left the district said:
“So in other words, they really don’t see anything that the Celina City School District is doing wrong. They just had other reasons for having their children attend the other schools.”
Ohio State Auditor Dave Yost
“Open enrollment is a complex equation with no single solution. School districts considering this educational option should tailor policies to their priorities, constantly monitor their outcomes and adjust accordingly.”
According to a special report prepared by Yost last fall, it is crucial for district leaders to have a thorough understanding of the ways open enrollment can affect both revenue and expenditures.
While open enrollment students generate more state funding than resident students, local funding does not transfer from an open enrollment student’s home district to the district they choose to attend. As a result, local taxpayers subsidize students attending their districts via open enrollment. This also means open enrollment student revenue reduces, or “dilutes,” the total amount of revenue generated by the resident district on a per-student basis.
The report also recommends districts account for all of the costs associated with open enrollment rather than focusing only on the opportunity for increased revenue. If managed properly, open enrollment should increase revenue for a district without adding significant costs. However, if expenditures are overlooked, the costs of teaching open enrollment students can actually outweigh revenue, resulting in a financial loss for a school district.
At the last Celina City Schools BOE meeting, members voted 3-2 to support placing a five-year, 1-percent income tax levy on the November ballot. The tax would be on the earned income of residents living within the Celina City Schools District. The three newest elected (2015) board members Curt Shellabarger, Barbara Vorhees and Bill Sell voted yes, while Matt Gilmore and Cindy Piper voted no.
Current Mercer County Schools Income Tax Rates
Coldwater - .0050 - 1/2% Celina - .0075 - 3/4% Parkway - .0100 - 1% Ft. Recovery - .0150 - 1 1/2%
Loss of income grows from the open enrollment changes over the years, but the schools will also continue to deal with district parents who have children attending a school outside the system who can vote ‘no’ in the future on any levy or any income tax increase. Depending on the number or parents or guardians (per child) who have left that could be as many as 400 district voters.
- Auditor Yost Releases Special Report on Open Enrollment
- Celina BOE To Vote Monday On Income Tax Increase
- COMPLETE LIST OF INCOME TAX RATES FOR OHIO SCHOOLS