Sylvania Public Schools

Mysterious Sylvania School levy brochure

A mysterious campaign mailer went out recently to some Sylvania residents. It is a mystery because no one put their name on it in clear violation of Ohio election laws. Any guesses on who did it? Ohio election laws will forgive your uncle or aunt passing out letters on the sidewalk, but an organized, professionally done brochure is not going to be forgiven.

(full sized versions can be downloaded below)

Sylvania Schools "survey" - Looking at income tax

So the pre-levy survey is live on the Sylvania Schools website. It's a simple SurveyMonkey survey. Not sure who they've hired to do their PR for this go round, but if it's Mark Luetke and FLS, they are not getting their money's worth. They've tipped their hand about asking for a school income tax in Question 12:

12. You may be aware that Sylvania Schools over time have traditionally asked for community support via a property tax levy. In the future, if the district was to offer a different option to support our schools, which statement would you agree with most?

State auditor's probe to end soon on Sylvania Schools levy campaign

Latest update:
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The Ohio Auditor’s office is wrapping up its investigation into how Sylvania Schools staff and resources were used last year to campaign for a school levy, which was rejected by voters.

A spokesman for the state office, Carrie Bartunek, confirmed for the first time that the office was investigating, but declined to provide details of findings or say when the work may be completed.

Read more at http://www.ourtownsylvania.com/Our-Town-Schools/2015/02/18/State-auditor...

Is Sylvania schools using district resources to promote the levy? The answer is yes. The question should be to what extent?

Update 5/9: These activities also violate school policies

Staff members shall not campaign on school property during school time in behalf of any political issue or candidate for local, State, or National office.

See: http://www.neola.com/sylvania-oh/search/policies/po4231.htm

Update 5/2: Sylvania Schools Superintendent Dr. Brad Reiger sent the following: No, we do not encourage district email accts be used for levy recruitment. We clarified with our Admin Team & staff members that personal email accts are to used. Also, you are correct that the levy website shouldn't be linked to the district website. Thank you for pointing this out. We have removed the levy website link. We'll do better with this moving forward.

The Sylvania Schools district would like the residents of Sylvania to pass the 3.8 mil operating levy on May 6. So much so that employees of the district are using district resources to promote their new levy. This can be proven by a set of emails from one school and resources from another, but one has to wonder how much more effort they are doing throughout the district on district time.

First a primer:
ORC 3315.07 dictates that “no board of education shall use public funds to support or oppose the passage of a school levy or bond issue or to compensate any school district employee for time spent on any activity intended to influence the outcome of a school levy or bond.”

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