District issues statement after filing lawsuit against city, says ‘goals do not align’

VANDALIA — A school district is speaking out after it has filed a lawsuit against the city.

News Center 7 previously reported that Vandalia Butler School District filed a lawsuit against Vandalia seeking up to 30 years of funding the district said it never received but is entitled to.

The lawsuit cites part of the Ohio Revised Code that outlines how certain tax revenues to the city should be allocated to the school district.

The district claims they have suffered a “financial burden” without this funding. The lawsuit seeks to have it restored.

A spokesperson from the City of Vandalia previously told News Center 7 that this dispute is due to an “update to revenue-sharing regulations that went into effect under state law in 1994 but were not implemented by the city and the school district.”

>> PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Vandalia-Butler Schools sues city, claims decades of tax funding wasn’t distributed correctly

City officials determined that depending on the applicable statute of limitations, it may owe the district between two to six years of back payments.

This could amount to almost $5 million, but the city said it doesn’t not believe that it owes more than $10 million like the district claims.

In a media release sent to News Center 7 Tuesday, Vandalia Butler School Board President Holly Herbst said she is disappointed with the city’s response:

“Unfortunately, the City’s statement confirms what we believe has been the City Manager’s intention all along. The City’s focus is not on how much money they have withheld from the school district, it is about how much they can get away with keeping based upon a statute of limitations. This tells us that our goals do not align. The City does not seem to be concerned with being fair and doing what’s right. They want to withhold money that rightfully belongs to the District. Our intention throughout this process has been to resolve this matter in a fair and equitable manner.”

Herbst added that the school district does not intend to put the city in an “untenable financial situation” but wants to receive the funds they are owed.

We will continue to follow this story.

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