Supporters of the levy can be divided into two groups: those looking for a financial gain over their neighbors; and, those wanting to believe that school officials are looking out for the taxpayer. Let's take a look at the latter group.
The district loves to state that its building cost less than the Ohio School Facilities Commission standards. This certainly implies that the OSFC standards are the benchmark of efficient school buildings. Not even close.
During my service on the board, I attended one of the OSFC design review meetings -- meetings where the commission seeks public input regarding the Ohio School Design Manual. The Design Manual contains the state-recognized set of standards for new school construction. According to OSFC, "OSFC’s Ohio School Design Manual provides schools with standards of design and construction that assure a statewide standard of quality."
The key is this: If a feature (building size, technology component, etc.) is in the manual, the feature will be allowed in buildings funded through OSFC programs. And, if the feature is in the manual, it becomes part of the cost standard used by OSFC -- the same cost standard that the district quotes before each bond issue.
The meeting I attended was more "Name that Tune" than "protect my wallet." Those in attendance had a stake in the outcome. District representatives, vendors, and contractors, sat around one-upping each other. There was no one -- certainly no one on the commission -- saying, "What about the cost?" Instead, the commission employees were excitedly nodding their heads and noting recommendations.
The Design Manual is not a document listing efficient, tax-wise standards. No, it is simply the wish list of those looking to build school buildings at taxpayer expense. A form a taxation without representation.
I bring this up since the useful idiots of the district want to believe in their local officials. Of course, this desire to believe suits the district just fine.
Keep in mind that the state cost standard is not a mark of efficiency, it's the hallmark of inefficiency and waste. So, reviewing the expense of district schools and concluding that the district is cost-efficient simply because it beat the state standard of inefficiency and waste is a fool's errand, or idiot's errand, indeed.