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Replacement and renewal levies on ballot for Boardman schools

Published: Sun, April 21, 2013 @ 12:04 a.m.

By Susan Tebben



The Boardman school district has done its best to be fiscally responsible, administrators say, but with open enrollment and other options pulling students away and state cuts to student funding, the district seeks the help of the voters in May.

“When you’re providing an [state-rated] ‘excellent’ education, what reward are we getting from the state of Ohio?” said Richard Santilli, treasurer for the district.

With no idea what the biennium budget will bring, the district has been watching all expenses. It is down 35 teaching positions, bringing it to 286 teachers despite being “consistent in being good stewards with our money,” Santilli said.

The district is asking for renewal of a 5.9-mill, five-year operating levy. This levy, which first was passed in 2003, generates $4,643,763 annually. “It goes to our electricity bill, our utility bill, salaries, whatever we need to keep the district going,” said Superintendent Frank Lazzeri.

As for improving the schools, the district also is putting a 1.6-mill, five-year levy on the ballot to replace a current one that has lost millage because of the loss of commercial and personal-property revenues, according to Santilli. This permanent-improvement levy was passed originally in 1988 but since has dropped from the original 1.6 mills to 1 mill of revenue for the district. The levy currently raises $821,219, and the replacement would bring in an additional $480,000.

The replacement would cost the owner a nickel a day, Lazzeri said, or $18.25 annually for the owner of a $100,000 home.

The additional money would go toward more security measures within the district, including new entrances and a new communication system between classrooms.

Part of the reason additional dollars are needed is because of a reinvestment in infrastructure that was made to make outdoor classrooms on Stadium Drive and Robinwood Lane schools more secure after recent school tragedies in other parts of the nation.

“In order to do that, we borrowed against future revenues,” Lazzeri said. “So about two-thirds of our revenue from the permanent-improvement fund goes to those two projects.”

The district will be paying back the debt on those projects for at least the next 24 years, Santilli said. But security as a priority for students is a reason to start the projects and continue with the additional money the district hopes will be brought by the levy.

“You can’t have learning going on unless the child feels safe,” Lazzeri said.


1mishmash(333 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

And they are willing to pay the Board of Elections over $1000 per precinct in Boardman to get this thru without the big turnout. YES THEY ARE ! another $40K + squandered.

We are so sick of these schools constantly milking our pocketbooks through guilt of the Children, then, all staff gets raise after raise.

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2doubled(210 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Umm, what part of "replacement" and "renewal" don't you understand, common?? These aren't new taxes. Unless you can't stand the thought of paying a nickel a day to live in a community with excellent rated schools. Comes out to just a bit over 18 bucks per year for you. But let me guess, you're old, retired, have medicare coverage, and you cash a social security check each month -- and you probably made good use of the public education system when your kids were young. You also use the roads, drink clean water, eat food that is safe, have the police and fire departments to protect you and your property, and an entire army to protect you from foreigner enemies - and you get all this for paying what is probably a relatively low amount in taxes, if you pay much tax at all. But now since you've taken all you could from the system and you no longer need the public schools, you rail against "new taxes" to support a school district that is rated excellent year after year. Even when what you're complaining about aren't really "new" taxes. In the business world, people and companies that produce solid results get paid, so educate yourself about the good things being done with your tax dollars. And feel free to complain about times when you rmoney is wasted. But when it's being put to good use, by people that are acting responsibly and professionally, you look like nothing more than a crazy tea bagger. Oh, and try not to be such a selfish sonavabitch next time.

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3LRG5150(17 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

I doubt any school district received an "Excellant" rating...at least I hope not. If you are going to attempt to denigrate a school district, you should at least be able to spell basic words.

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41970mach1(1005 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

Teachers have the life. Summers off.

Spring break, Christmas break ,New Years, MLK, President's Day, Memorial Day, Columbus Day and Thanksgiving break off. Paid. Full year's pay for 9 months work.

And if anyone dares to bring that up, they are screamed at that it is "for the children!!!!" What a racket.

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5DSquared(1788 comments)posted 3 years, 3 months ago

The time has come. Vouchers for ALL children. If you can't do the job, close your doors. Competition will help all children succeed. YOU choose to whom you trust the care and education of your children. Not some overpaid bureaucrat and fat-cat politician!

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