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The Board of Education met November 4 in a Work Session to discuss the future of Milford's facilities by reviewing community feedback, examining estimated construction costs, and assessing the feasibility of placing a bond issue on the ballot. The Board decided at their November 14 meeting to not place the bond issue on the March 2020 ballot.

WHAT'S NEXT?

The Board of Education and District Administration will study timing for a future bond request to maintain the current quality of education provided to Milford students and to modernize school facilities with state-of-the-art equipment and technology that is needed for current college prep and job skills training.

While the Board decided to not place the bond issue on the March 2020 ballot, the need has not gone away. The Board and Administration will continue to seek community input on the plan that the Community Advisory Team recommended: building a new junior high school for grades 6-8 and include site safety at the shared junior high/high school campus - which includes updated traffic flow and parking - and to add space for programs currently held in modular classrooms.

COMMUNITY FEEDBACK 

The District hired Clout Research to conduct a poll of registered voters regarding potential school construction and cost scenarios. The survey was conducted October 21 through 28 and included 406 respondents. Interviews were conducted on both landlines and mobile phones.

Key findings from the survey:

  • Among registered voters the district has an extremely high favorable rating. 75% hold a favorable opinion of the district, including 41% who hold a "very favorable" view. Milford ranks in the upper tier of schools in terms of overall voter favorability.
  • Of households that have children currently in school, 88% hold a favorable view.
  • Of households that do not have children in school, 61% hold a favorable view.
  • Support for a construction plan is split: when survey respondents were asked if they would support a construction plan but were not given a cost estimate, 45% were in favor.
  • That favorability fell when survey respondents were provided a cost estimate. Only 32% responded in favor of building a new junior high school at the estimated cost of $12.50 per month (estimated using October 2019 construction costs) for the owner of a house valued at $100,000. 57% were opposed.
  • When asked about other aspects of the construction plan, survey respondents were not in favor when told the estimated costs (estimated using October 2019 construction costs): they were not in favor of a new auditorium costing an estimated $1.00 per month, nor were they in favor of updating and replacing athletic facilities, which would cost an estimated 29 cents per month on a home valued at $100,000. Survey respondents were slightly more in favor of proposed plans to renovate the high school - to fix HVAC issues and repair the roof - at the cost of 53 cents per month.

WHAT'S THE LATEST ON STATE FUNDING? 

At the November 14, 2019 meeting, the Board voted to apply for the Ohio Facilities Construction Committee's (OFCC) Expedited Local Partnership Program (ELPP). The resolution to apply for ELPP does not guarantee acceptance into the program nor does it guarantee funding. The earliest Milford could be eligible to receive funding from the state is November 2021.

More information about the OFCC's funding opportunities - ELPP and CFAP:

  • The Classroom Facilities Assistant Program (CFAP) is a statewide program that offers co-funding from the state. The OFCC determines a district's wealth and determines the local and state share of facilities projects. For our district, OFCC has determined that the state would co-fund 27 percent of qualifying facility projects and the community would pay for the remaining 73 percent. However, because of Milford's wealth ranking, there are many other districts ahead of us to receive funding first. For years Milford has been pushed to the bottom of the list as state funding was assigned to other districts and then funds were depleted.
  • The Expedited Local Partnership Program (ELPP) allows a district to begin portions of a facilities plan and then earn funding from the state to be used for future projects. Under ELPP, a district pays for projects with community funds, usually with passage of a bond issue.
  • There is no guaranteed date when the state will issue funds to Milford through either program.
  • Applying for the ELPP program now does not hurt the district in any way nor does it guarantee any funding. Applying for ELPP now simply puts Milford back in line with the state, should a bond issue be passed in the future to begin construction on facilities projects.

If you have any questions or comments, please email us: contactmilford@milfordschools.org.