By Sean Barron
The Poland board of education has agreed to place a five-year, 5.9-mill emergency operating levy on the Nov. 6 general-election ballot.
During a special meeting Sunday, the board voted 3-2 for the levy, which is expected to bring $2,181,867 annually to the school district.
The measure is needed to ensure the district stays in the black through the end of 2016, noted board President Dr. Larry Dinopoulos, who, along with board members Richard J. Weaver and Elinor S. Zedaker, voted for the levy.
Voting no were James P. Lavorini and Robert D. Shovlin. Shovlin said he felt taxpayers won’t support another levy on the ballot after two previous attempts failed.
During the session, officials discussed whether the millage should be 3.9 or 5.9 mills, or another figure. Dinopoulos predicted that a 3.9-mill levy “buys us two years,” meaning that the board would have to place another measure on the ballot after that time.
Failure to approve the levy likely would lead to further cuts or open-enrollment options, which would bring added funds to the district, Dinopoulos continued. He added that if the 5.9-mill levy is defeated, the board will try to pass a smaller measure.
Despite state-funding reductions, the district is about $100,000 in the black, but will probably be in the red by 2013 or 2014 if the levy fails, the president contended.
Dinopoulos said he plans to conduct a forum this fall to give residents a better idea of what open enrollment will entail, adding that many taxpayers may resent paying for students from other districts.