The most famous causality dilemma is probably “which came first, the chicken or the egg?” This reference to a circular argument is common in casual references to causation. For public school districts we often find ourselves in a similar circular argument regarding school finance. Our goal is to hear and honor the fiscal concerns of the taxpaying public, while providing a variety of educational opportunities and experiences for a diverse student population. Without fiscal support, we are unable to provide the opportunities for students. Without a strong educational product, our community isn’t a destination to raise a family. For districts, the challenge is finding balance – a balance between costs and opportunities, a balance that provides exceptional value for the community’s investment.
In my State of the Schools address I shared that the promise from the 2011 Levy Campaign will provide the resources for the district until at least 2015. In a recent Columbus Dispatch article the Hilliard City School District was credited as one of the contributing factors to the housing market in our community gaining momentum. Strong schools historically bring increased value to homes. Strong schools also bring tremendous value to our young people. As we prepare students to be Ready For Tomorrow we are preparing our next generation of leaders, innovators and workers. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that each and every student in our district reaches his or her highest potential and has the skills to be productive, successful and contributing members to our society. The performance, and thus reputation, of the district in preparing our students for future success has a direct correlation to property values.
Causality isn’t completely applicable to the relationship between strong schools and strong communities. The partnership between schools, communities and value is significantly more than casual; the relationships are essential. School districts must be active partners with all community stakeholders. As I shared in the State of the Schools address we are committed to an open, honest conversation about our district’s financial future in the coming year. Our community makes a significant investment in our school district. In essences taxpayers are shareholders in the education of our young people. We are committed to protecting your investment – both your stake in the educational process and your investment in your home’s value. We strive for efficient, conservative and prudent distribution of your valued resources. We seek to inspire confidence in our partnership and empower our community to be part of the process. You can read more about how Hilliard City Schools inspires confidence by providing a good value to our community in the November 13 edition of ThisWeek News at http://www.thisweeknews.com/content/stories/hilliard/news/2013/11/13/hilliard-schools-connection-district-wont-avoid-tough-questions-about-money.html.