Issues 21 & 22 FAQs

FAQs: Issues 21 & 22 on March 19
Posted on 02/12/2024
Registered voters in the Elyria City School District will have two school issues on the ballot for consideration in the Primary Election, which takes place on March 19, 2024. Issues 21 and 22 are both renewal levies that, if approved, will continue to provide operations funding for the district. Neither levy is new—they are both renewals. The issues will appear on the ballot as a result of unanimous decisions by the ECS Board of Education. Both Board votes took place on Nov. 15, 2023.

To participate in the upcoming election, district residents, 18 years and older, must be registered voters. Voter registration ends on Feb. 20, 2024. Early voting begins on Feb. 21, 2024. For more information on Issues 21 and 22, read on.

Q: What is on the ballot for the Elyria City Schools?

A: Issues 21 and 22 will be on the ballot March 19, 2024, for registered voters in the Elyria City School District. Both are renewal levies that will not increase taxes if approved by voters. They provide funding for the school district’s operations budget. Issue 21 is a renewal of a 4.95-mill current expense levy, last renewed by voters in 2018. Issue 22 is a 12.85-mill renewal of an emergency levy that voters most recently renewed in 2014.

These funds help the district continue paying for teachers and support staff, programs, classroom technology and tools, and services to meet the daily education needs of nearly 6,300 Elyria students— preschool through high school.

Q. What will these issues fund?

A. Together, Issues 21 and 22 fund 20 percent of the district’s operations budget. They allow the district to pay the salaries of more than 200 teachers and support staff members. Additionally, they support a variety of programs and tools. A portion of these funds are used for wraparound services and social-emotional supports for students of all grade levels.

Q. How much will these issues cost property owners?

A. Issues 21 and 22 are renewal levies, not new taxes. For Issue 21, property owners will pay $120 per $100,000 valuation by the Lorain County auditor. Issue 22 will pay $450 per $100,000 valuation by the Lorain County auditor. Again, both issues are renewals.

Q. How long will the levies last if voters renew them?

A. If renewed, Issue 21 would help fund the district’s operating budget for a continuing period of time. Issue 22 would support the schools for 10 years.

Q. Why are there two issues on the ballot?

A. There are two renewals on the ballot because each levy—though initially approved by voters at different times based on different funding requests—are now expiring. Issue 21 would renew a levy that has been within the district’s operating budget for 25 years, and Issue 22 would renew a separate emergency levy that voters approved 10 years ago.

Q. What is the difference between the two levies?

A. While both issues are renewal levies--not new taxes--Issue 21 renews a current expense levy that voters originally approved in 1999. It has been renewed by voters in five-year increments since then, with the most recent renewal taking place in 2018. Issue 22 was last approved in 2014 as a renewal of two then-existing emergency levies – one that was approved in 2009 and another that voters approved in 2010. Together, the levies fund nearly one-quarter of the district’s operations budget.

Q. How have Elyria City Schools managed taxpayer dollars in the past?

A. The district prides itself on its fiscal responsibility, which has been recognized by 20 consecutive clean audit awards from the Auditor of State. ECS has also earned the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association every year since 1998. The district has not requested new money from voters since 2010, which is uncommon for Ohio school districts. Neither Issue 21 or Issue 22 asks for new money; both are renewals.

Q. What happens if the issues don’t pass?

A. Because the levies represent 20 percent of ECS’ operating budget, failure of these levies would impact the district’s ability to provide the same level of education. It would also impact the ability to provide access to up-to-date technology and tools, as well as wraparound services for students and families.

Q. How and where can I vote?

A. To vote in the 2024 Primary Election, a person must be 18 years or older and be registered to vote by Feb. 20, 2024. The Ohio Secretary of State’s website offers the ability for users to check their registration status or to register online.

Once a voter is registered, they can vote early between Feb. 21 and March 18, either in person or by mail. Early, in-person voting takes place at the Lorain County Board of Elections, 1985 N. Ridge Road, in Lorain. The Board of Elections website provides details on early voting hours, absentee ballot request forms to vote by mail, as well as issue text and sample ballots. If voting on Election Day, March 19, follow this link to find voting locations.