Citizens For A Better Norwood

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Superintendent Amodio: facts about the 9.48 mil school levy

Recently, we asked NCS Superintendent Rob Amodio to provide our readers with factual information about the 9.48 mil levy Norwood voters will decide on May 4. We thank him for responding by sending us the following article that will also be published in the Norwood Star:

The Norwood City School District has recently taken several courses of action to stabilize the financial future of our school district. The Norwood City School District is facing a $1,500,000 operating deficit for the fiscal year 2011. The district is also facing the impending expiration of two Emergency Levies. The first Emergency Levy expires on December 31, 2010 with the second expiring December 31, 2012. In an effort to address these financial challenges, the Norwood City School District Board of Education has chosen to take the following courses of action.

The first course of action is to cut operating expenses. The Board of Education has directed me to present a plan to them no later the March 18th Board Meeting to reduce expenses by $1,500,000 for the next school year. We are currently in the process of studying all areas of our operations including but not limited to staffing, purchasing procedures and contracted services to create a plan that will allow us to make cuts with the least negative impact on the education of our children.

The second course of action taken by the district has been to place a Substitute Levy on the ballot for May 4, 2010. The Substitute Levy is the combination of the two existing and soon to be expiring Emergency Levies and does not increase your taxes. The levies combined generate approximately $4,200,000 in tax revenue for the school district. The Substitute Levy will be an ongoing levy and will not have to be voted on every five years as required by law for an Emergency Levy. By making the levies ongoing it will save election and preparation costs going forward. But more importantly, the district’s financial base will be more solid and programs for children more stable.

Successful passage of the Substitute Levy WILL LOWER THE PROPERTY TAXES of each Norwood resident by about $8.00 per $100,000 of property value. Shifts in local property valuations have enabled this reduction to Norwood residents. In addition to asking that you continue your support of existing levies, the district will continue its ongoing fiscal conservation as we move forward. Like you, we will be responsive to the economic challenges facing us all.

I can assure all residents of the city of Norwood that we have been and are currently serving as sound stewards of their tax dollars. Recently the Norwood City School District was recognized by Mary Taylor, Ohio Auditor of State, with the “Making Your Tax Dollars Count Award” for excellence in fiscal recording, efficiency and careful spending as a trustworthy guardian of our residents tax dollars. Fewer than 5 percent of public entities receive this award each year!

Norwood City Schools continue to challenge our students daily with an instructional program of great rigor. The fruits of these challenges have been recognized this year with Norwood High School being recognized by Cincinnati Magazine as one of the top 30 public and private High Schools in the region with our math and science concentrations being specifically touted as one of the top 5 in the region. This is only one example of the high quality work completed by the staff and students in each of our building as we strive to reach excellence each day.

If you have any questions pertaining to our budget reductions, the Substitute Levy or Norwood City Schools in general please feel free to contact me at 924-2500 or via e-mail at

Rob Amodio
Norwood City School District