The Liberty-Benton School District has a long record of responsible management of taxpayer funds, utilizing every dollar we can to positively impact our next generation and prepare them for success now and in the future. We operate with the highest commitment to responsible stewardship and respect for our community, and will continue to provide an educational experience that includes research-based, data-driven learning methods that empower students to achieve not only academically, but also personally as they discover passions that will drive them to persevere and reach their potential.
This May, Liberty-Benton Local Schools will appear on your ballot with a request to re-invest in the future of learning. The property taxes that funded the high school construction project will soon expire and Liberty-Benton residents will have the opportunity to support a ballot issue that will provide a new pre-kindergarten through 8th-grade facility, an 800-seat performance auditorium, and essential mechanical and material renovations to extend the life of the high school.
Our commitment is to our students and as such, we currently send .67 of every dollar directly to the classroom to fund instruction that enhances the educational experience of every child in our schools. Unfortunately, if the ballot issue does not pass in May, the district will be required to divert some classroom funding to make temporary and reactive fixes to our aging facilities and we will face a more expensive project in the future because construction costs continue to rise year after year.
Education has changed significantly in the last 100 years, which is about how long Liberty-Benton has been educating students in our elementary building if you can believe it! But our current facilities are not meeting the needs of our students today, let alone for the next 100 years. As a result, we believe we have created a responsible and comprehensive approach to addressing our facility issues that makes the most of the taxpayer investment in Liberty-Benton Local Schools. In addition, we do not take this investment lightly.
The last time the district was on the ballot for new operating money was in 1994 when our community passed an income tax levy to support the schools. We did not request additional funds from our taxpayers until 14 years later when we placed an operating levy request of $700,000 on the ballot in 2008. In 2018, our community renewed that request and we are grateful for their continued support of our schools. Because of community support, we are able to focus on equipping our students with the resources to reach their potential in academics, good character, American citizenship, independent living and critical thinking.
Our schools are a hallmark of our community. We are achieving at high levels and are always focused on continuous improvement, both in our approach to finances as well as the experience we provide for our community's children. I am proud of the work we are doing at Liberty-Benton Local Schools and look forward to what the future has in store.
Liberty-Benton Local Schools