Bond Issue Info

About the May 4 Bond Issue image

Bond Explainer Video

To help you understand how bond issue passage will affect the student population, individual buildings and facilities across the district, some PLSD staff are featured in a unique video which takes you on a “show-and-tell” tour. Although this video was produced last fall, the information shared still applies to the May 4 bond issue.




May 4 Bond Issue Information

Bond Issue Informational Zoom Event Video

A Bond Issue Informational Event was held on Sept. 15, 2020, via Zoom. The event helped explain the need for and benefits of Pickerington Schools’ bond issue on the ballot Nov. 3, as well as May 4, 2021. Community members submitted questions and Supt. Dr. Chris Briggs and Treasurer Ryan Jenkins helped provide answers during the hour-long event, which was held in partnership with the Vote4PickKids Committee. If you have additional questions about the bond issue, you may submit them to

Know the Facts About the May 4 Bond Issue

Pickerington Schools Board of Education voted 5-0 to place a 2.9 mill bond issue on the May 4, 2021 ballot. 

  • Pickerington’s schools are at or near capacity and 1,000 more students are expected to enroll in the next few years.
  • It would also prevent the need to construct temporary classroom trailers or lease office spaces in the community; both options are costly, short term solutions.
  • The 2.9-mill bond issue would provide funds to construct a new junior high school and allow for the subsequent redistribution of the student population to alleviate overcrowding.
  • Current Ridgeview Junior High reconfigured to house elementary school, middle school, and Gateway Academy (gifted) students.
  • Current Heritage Elementary reconfigured to house a special needs preschool and the Welcome Center.
  • 18-24 classrooms built at both high schools and additional cafeteria space at Pickerington High School Central.
  • All buildings receive some updates to accommodate flexible learning environments.
  • Additions or upgrades to current junior high school and high school extracurricular spaces.
  • New secure entryways will be constructed at both high schools.
  • By acting now, the district will be able to take advantage of historically low interest rates.
  • If passed, collection of funds would not begin until 2022.
  • The 2.90 mill ballot issue will cost approximately $8.46 per month per $100,000 of home market value as listed on the county auditor’s website.

Note: Funds from the upcoming bond issue would not fund the day-to-day operations of Pickerington Schools. It would be used only to construct new facilities and to update existing facilities. 

FAQ's About the May 4 Bond Issue

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About the May 4 Bond Issue

Q: What is on the May 4 ballot for Pickerington Schools?
A: Pickerington Schools is on the ballot for a 2.9 mill bond issue that, if approved by voters, will provide funds for one new junior high school and renovations and security updates to other schools throughout the district.

Q: Why now?
A: We must also plan for the future because overcrowding affects every student in the district. We anticipate that schools will be returning to normal as quickly as possible so we must be prepared for the future. By acting now, we have a chance to simultaneously meet the overcrowding needs facing our schools while taking advantage of very low borrowing rates for construction.

Recent enrollment projections show that Pickerington Schools’ enrollment will soar with an additional 1,000 students in just a few short years. With most of the district’s current buildings at or near capacity now, there is not enough room or existing funding to accommodate the growth headed Pickerington’s way. 

Q: What will the levy cost me?
A: The 2.90 mill ballot issue will cost approximately $8.46 per month per $100,000 of home market value as listed on the county auditor’s website.

Q: What do we get if the ballot issue passes?
A: We will construct a new junior high school to help alleviate overcrowding, as well as renovations and security updates throughout the district. More classroom space, more extracurricular/common space and secure building entrances will ensure our schools can continue to serve students now and into the future. All buildings will receive renovations to either alleviate overcrowding, provide security updates, or both.

Q: What will happen if this ballot issue does not pass?
A: Failure of the ballot issue will not slow the growth the district is experiencing. The need to address enrollment increases would become more urgent and classrooms and schools would become more crowded. It is expected that future costs and interest rates will increase with time.

The district would also have to consider temporary, expensive, short term solutions, such as renting space for classrooms, to accommodate growing enrollment. The needed safety improvements will be delayed further as well.

Q: How did the district come up with this plan?
A: This plan was developed as part of Pickerington’s Plan for Progress, a plan that was created with the help of hundreds of staff and community members. It’s the community’s plan for the future. It lays out what the district must continue to do to remain on a path to providing an excellent education to each student. It reflects resident and staff input and priorities and is focused on our three main goals: academic excellence, modern facilities, and efficient operations.

Q: Where will this new junior high school be located?
A: The new junior high would be constructed on the approximately 66-acre parcel of land owned by the district on Lockville Road, south of Opportunity Way (adjacent to the Pickerington High School Central campus), while Ridgeview Junior High would be repurposed into a K-6 facility for Heritage Elementary and Gateway Elementary students.

Q: Where will the renovations and safety updates be made?
A: Secure vestibules and classroom space would be added at Pickerington High School North and Pickerington High School Central, while extra seating would be added in the cafeteria at Pickerington High School Central.

Heritage Elementary would be renovated to create a permanent Welcome Center and Preschool Center.

The new co-curricular and extracurricular spaces would be added at the new junior high school, Lakeview Junior High, Pickerington High School North and Pickerington High School Central. 

Q: Hasn’t the pandemic slowed down home construction in our area?
A: No, it actually has not slowed down. New home construction in Pickerington remains strong and while new housing growth brings more students, it also brings more property owners to share in the tax base.

Q: How has Pickerington Schools handled its finances?
A: Pickerington Schools continues to stretch its operating resources making sure to direct funds where they have the greatest impact on student achievement. 

Q: What happened with the governor’s reduction in state school funding and how does it affect the school district?
A: Pickerington Schools’ state funding was reduced by $1,725,378 at the end of the 2019-20 school year. This amounted to approximately 3.2% of our annual state funding. 

During the potential economic impact of the coronavirus, the district responded with sound, conservative financial practices such as stopping all non-essential purchases, freezing budgets and finding additional reductions with the least amount of impacts on students. 

Pickerington Schools saved local taxpayers more than $16 million recently by bond refunding. The district has also saved funds by switching to a self-insurance plan, leaving third-party insurance companies and taking the average premium increase from 8.69% to 4.32%.

Pickerington Schools is committed to making all financial information available to its taxpayers in a timely and transparent manner.

Q: What bond issues are outstanding and what have we paid off?
A: PLSD paid off the library in December of 2016 and Tussing Elementary School in December, 2015. At Diley and Harmon Middle Schools, we have an outstanding principal of about $1,974,709. This will be paid off (assuming no refundings) by December of 2025.

Pickerington High School North and Lakeview Junior High, there is an outstanding principal of about $42,390,291, which will be paid off (assuming no refundings) by December of 2026.

At Toll Gate Elementary, Toll Gate Middle School, and Sycamore Creek Elementary, the outstanding principal is about $39,215,000, which will be paid off (assuming no refundings) by December 2034. PLSD’s total outstanding principal/debt as of June 30, 2020 is $83,580,000.

Q: Did the district receive funds from the CARES Act?
A: The district received $705,000 in CARES Act funding. Those funds are being used to provide professional development that better equips teachers to instruct in online and hybrid environments (hybrid is a mix of traditional and online environments). Additionally, large chunks of the funding are being used to purchase cleaning supplies, sanitizing supplies, Personal Protective Equipment, and other supplies and materials to help us mitigate the risk of Coronavirus outbreaks, and to create safe school environments.

Plan for Progress Presentation

There’s also tons of info on our Plan for Progress webpage. If you watch the Plan for Progress Presentation Video, it will break down, by estimated dollar amounts, the intended use of the bond funds. There are also many maps shared as part of this presentation which clearly detail the plan. We realize that millage rates can be confused with millions of dollars, so Treasurer Ryan Jenkins is also going to work on a video which explains millage rates. Look for that to be posted on this page and on social media soon!

School Finance Definitions
Bond Levy
A bond levy is a levy that allows the district to issue debt to build or improve buildings. It is a “bricks and mortar” levy. Bond levies cannot be used to pay staff or utilities or any other operating expenses. Bond levies are used to build buildings but cannot be used to operate the new buildings. Bond issues cannot pay for ongoing maintenance.
Regular Operating Levy
An operating levy funds the day-to-day operations of the district. It can be used for salaries, instructional supplies, textbooks, transportation costs, maintenance and upkeep, etc. The millage rate is submitted to voters for approval, not the dollar amount. The millage rate is adjusted down as property values increase. It can be for a limited amount of time or continuing.
Emergency Levy
An emergency levy funds the day-to-day operations of the district. It can be used for salaries, instructional supplies, textbooks, transportation costs, maintenance and upkeep, etc. This type of levy is submitted to the voters as a dollar amount. An emergency levy can only be voted in for a period of one to ten years.
Permanent Improvement Levy
Permanent improvement levies are for projects and equipment that have a useful life of five years or more. New roofs, renovations, and school busses are assets that fall into this category.
Real Estate Taxes
This is a tax levied on land and buildings located within the school district. Individuals and businesses pay this tax on the property they own. Two key components in calculating real estate taxes are the taxable or assessed value (market value x 35%) of the property and the millage rate.

Market Value
The market value is the estimated sales value of the property. For purposes of real estate taxes, the county auditor determines the market value of all of the property in the county. The county auditor then calculates the taxable/assessed value for each property.

Taxable/Assessed Value
Taxable value and assessed value are different terminologies for the same thing.

The taxable value is determined by taking 35% of the market value of the property. For example, a home that would have a market value of $100,000 would have a taxable value of $35,000.

Re-appraisal and Triennial Update
The county auditor is responsible for assigning a market value for all of the individual properties in the county. Every six years the county auditor appraises all of the properties to determine their market value. This is a re-appraisal. Every three years, the county auditor does an update of the market values based on home sales. This is a triennial update.
Property tax rates are computed in mills. A mill is 1/1000 or .001. One mill cost a property owner $1.00 for every $1,000 of taxable value.
Inside Millage
In Ohio, millage is referred to as “inside” millage and “outside” millage. Inside millage is millage provided by the Constitution of the State of Ohio and is levied without a vote of the people. It is called inside millage because it is “inside” the law. Another name would be un-voted millage.The Constitution allows for 10 mills of inside millage in each political subdivision. Public schools, counties, townships, and other local governments are allocated a portion if the 10 inside mills.
Outside Millage
Outside millage is any millage “outside” the 10 mills that is provided by the Constitution of the State of Ohio. This millage is voted in by the public. Another name for outside millage is voted millage.
Effective Millage
Effective millage is the millage rate that is actually levied on property. Once a levy is voted in, a school district cannot collect any additional money due to valuation increases from reappraisal or triennial update on that levy. As property values increase, the millage rate on that voted levy is decreased so that the levy generates the same amount of money. This reduced millage rate is referred to as effective millage. The only way school districts get any additional money on voted millage is from new construction or from having their millage reduced to the minimum amount allowed by law (20 mill floor).
House Bill 920
During the 1970s property values were increasing at a very high rate. In 1976 the Ohio Legislature enacted House Bill 920. This bill effectively freezes all voted real estate millage at the dollar amount collected the first year the millage went into effect. As property values rise through reappraisal or triennial update, the outside millage is reduced. In simple terms, the amount of money a school district collects from a levy does not increase as property values increase.
20 Mill Floor
As property values increase, voted millage rates are decreased so that school districts don’t collect any additional money on voted millage due to inflation. Over time, millage rates could be reduced to near zero. To keep this from happening, Ohio law establishes a minimum millage level, or floor, that millage rates cannot fall below. This minimum level is 20 mills. Once a district’s total millage is reduced to 20 mills, it cannot be reduced any further, hence the 20 mill floor.
Homestead Exemption
The homestead exemption allows senior citizens whose Ohio adjusted gross income is less than $30,000 to reduce their property taxes by exempting $25,000 of the market value of their home from all local property taxes. The limiting income provision applies only to homeowners who turn 65 beginning in 2014. No homeowner who currently qualifies for the exemption will lose it. To qualify, an Ohio resident must be at least 65 years old or be totally and permanently disabled and own and occupy a home as their principal place of residence. For individuals who own more than one home, the principal place of residence is the home where the person is registered to vote and the person’s place of residence for income tax purposes. Applications for the exemptions are available at the county auditor’s office.
Pickerington Schools' Financial Information

The Treasurer’s Office works with district staff and the Board of Education to provide sound resource management and financial leadership for Pickerington Schools. A detailed breakdown of Pickerington Schools’ finances, including 5-year forecasts, can be found by visiting our Finances webpage on this site.


Enrollment Data and Formal Enrollment Study by Cooperative Strategies

Cooperative Strategies: Enrollment Study

In  the fall of 2018 and into 2019, the District worked with its consultant Cooperative Strategies to formally analyze enrollment projections and trends.

Cooperative Strategies was formed to offer premier consulting services to local educational agencies across the nation and has been aiding school districts in providing quality facilities for their students for over 25 years.  Having performed nearly 4,000 enrollment studies for schools across the nation, the District is confident that the data presented provides an accurate depiction of our future growth trends.

To access the presentation given to the Pickerington Local School District Board of Education on February 11, 2019, please click on this link.

To access the full report, click on this link.

To access the Student Potential report,  click on this link.