Madison-Plains Local School District Superintendent Tim Dettwiller told the Mount Sterling Village Council that “Our district is striving to improve, “to always get better.”
In a report to council at its regular meeting Monday night, Dettwiller pointed out that when he first came to council to report on the district in May 2012, he talked to council about the district’s 10-year financial projection.
“At that time, it showed that the district would go into the red in 2017, the end of the last school year. We did not. And we are not going to be in the red in the 2017-2018 school year, either,” he told council members.
“But we are looking at 2018-19 that we will be going into the red. The way we pushed out that deficit was through budget reductions and working with our unions. Those two methods allowed us to push that deficit farther out,” he added.
He pointed out that on the November ballot, the district has a permanent improvement renewal levy for them to purchase buses, improve technology, and items such as classroom supplies and textbooks. “Since 1993 our community has supported this continually every five years, renewed by the voters, and I thank you, the Mount Sterling community for your support,” he said.
“This is not new money. August (levy on the ballot) was new money. It failed. There was lots of reasons why, but this is not new money. This renewal was originally 2.5 mills but has been rolled back to .89 mills. At that rate, for a $100,000 property, the tax is $31.15 a year,” the superintendent said.
On the issue of the recently released state report card, he said, “I think this is one of our best years yet. Madison-Plains is doing very well, by comparison (to area comparable districts). You look at our 1.85 GPA, and the state raised the bar for this rating, and when you look at Jonathan Alder which has always been one of the premier districts in our area, they had a GPA of 2.5.”
He said what should be noted is that overall the district changed its GPA by .7, which he said is very difficult to do. “We raised our academic standing. Our kids are proud, our parents are proud and our staff is proud. We’ve had an improvement process in place now for four years and have put in a lot of hard work. Our staff has worked very hard, and they take their jobs very seriously, as does the board of education,” Dettwiller said.
“Of the 680 school districts in Ohio, Madison-Plains ranked 315. We are clearly in the middle of the pack right now. In perspective, Jonathan Alder is at 130. With a 2.5 GPA they are ranked 130 in the state. It is a very difficult bar in Ohio to reach an A or a B, but that’s OK, we are striving to get better,” he said.
When asked about the district’s graduation rate grade, he said that the “B” the district received for graduation rate was not good enough, he felt it should be an A. “But one student dropping out can change this from an A to B grade with the state. To get a Madison-Plains diploma, you have to earn it. If you have a diploma from Madison-Plains, it means something,” he told council.
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