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Canfield school board gives first reading to proposed levy



Published: Fri, July 26, 2013 @ 12:03 a.m.

SEE ALSO: New Canfield concession stand to be built

By Kalea Hall

khall@vindy.com

CANFIELD

The board of education gave first reading Thursday to a resolution for a 5.9-mill operating-levy, and will have to meet again to approve it before the issue actually goes to the November ballot.

It has been 11 years since Canfield local schools has seen additional funding come in from a levy, school officials say.

The deadline to put tax levies and other issues on the fall ballot is Aug. 7. The board will meet again to discuss the levy at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

“We are still narrowing down the facts,” said Alex Geordan, superintendent of Canfield schools. “One mill brings over $500,000 per year.”

If the levy passes, the extra funding will go toward technology advancements; additional course offerings including advanced- placement classes; better security within the school system, which would include additional cameras and better lockdown measures; and expanded transportation.

“Our school system is the heart of our community,” said Geordan. “What we offer in our schools is a top-notch education, and to continue that and to grow as a system, additional revenue is going to be needed.”

Voters turned down an additional 6.8-mill operating levy, which would have brought in $3.6 million annually to the district, in November 2010, and also and May 2011.

In November 2011, voters also turned down an additional 4.9-mill levy, which would have brought in more than $2 million annually to the district, according to Vindicator files.

The board discussed ways to make sure it is transparent about the need for the levy this time around so the levy does pass.

An advisory financial committee also reviewed the district’s financial books to see what was needed in order to continue to grow the school district without deficit spending, and the levy was the suggestion.

Geordan said the levy discussion has been a “12-month fact-finding” session.

“We need to bring in additional revenue and that is what the financial community committee determined. We are suggesting a 5.9-mill [levy], but that is up for discussion, but it is time,” said Pattie Kesner, district treasurer.

The district has decreased spending by eliminating high school busing, various positions, incorporated the pay- to-participate program, adjusted school fees, and renegotiated a contract with staff for a three-year salary freeze. The renegotiation gave the district the most savings of $1.8 million, Kesner said.

Altogether, the district decreased its spending by $3.6 million, according to Vindicator files.

Kesner told the board the levy is especially necessary because of the state funding cuts. Canfield has received no increases for the next two years in funding from the state, but it has not had any decreases. In 2011, the district lost $1.2 million in state revenue.

“It’s time for the community to step up and get some additional revenue to the district now,” Kesner said.

Geordan is hopeful the levy will pass since Poland and Boardman voters recently approved new levies.

“We took a look at what was spent per student at other districts that are comparable to us, and any one we took a look at we were in the bottom 10 percent of the districts on expenses,” Geordan said.

Geordan said there will be a levy campaign team started.


Comments

1grazor50(56 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

If my math is correct,, Canfield lost $1.2m in state funding in 2011, but the district cut $3.6M that still left a surplus of $2.4m of wasted money saved from cuts and it was deficient spending then.
With the additional revenue from the development in the Canfield district in the last 8 years,, Westford community, Villa Rosa Development,, Meadows,Fox den, Tippecanoe Woods, Kings Lane, $26m on 1 home alone on Lockwood, ALL with a major tax base,,, sounds like Canfield should be having NO problem in increased revenue without a tax hike. No where does the school board say that the tax money is needed. The main need is for security, cameras, lockdowns,, to the tune of $ ?m,, ,, just that it is time for an increase since others are getting more,,,, wake up and understand,, taxpayers are tired of just giving and giving,, just so government can find ways to spend money and that is what they are searching for,,, NO real plans for the money,,, just give it to the school and they will find a way to spend it!

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2Knightcap(700 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

The private sector has made strong cutbacks to live within their means. The public sector should too. Think about paying 25% for your health benefits. How about a 10% paycut for employees and 20% for administration.

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3youngstown615(98 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

Geordan took the position a year ago & seems to be doing a good job, but we are not forgetting the board gave him a $3000 a year raise over the last Supt, to start ! That's not the way business works. "You start off low & work up " in the real world.The no busing for the High School students has created a nightmare for the parents of the 9th & 10th graders who do not drive & has made the drop off school drive a "Grand Prix" raceway !! Does the "Board" care ? The students that do drive have a monthly parking fee, "Pay for play', extra fees ( $50) per sport that must be paid to the booster committees for expenses not paid by the school .....all on the backs of the parents. Also, what has happened to the monies donated for the "Middle School track? 120 children, twice a week walking across busy 224 to use the HS track. You really care about the children & the parents of the Canfield students ?? You must do more to show it for my vote.

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4InterestedObserver(3 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

Ultimately, this same energy that is spent opposing the levy should be directed to Columbus and used to discuss how schools are funded. In the meantime, cutting off the nose to spite the face is a foolish investment in the future. The community needs to support the schools. Canfield is prudent with their money and produces a quality product.

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5grazor50(56 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

Prudent with their money, did you read the article and the proposed $3m spending increase? " go toward technology advancements; additional course offerings including advanced- placement classes; better security within the school system, which would include additional cameras and better lockdown measures; and expanded transportation. Did that include the maintenance of the new football stadium that was built? Canfield is a very safe place to live, but additional security doesn't solve the problem of a desperate person that just wants to cause harm. The art of teaching is NOT rocket science, remember this is a 9 month job/ yr, inside, forgiving if mistakes are made, controlled by over -done administration at all levels, but contain very little common sense. Those that teach do it by choice, just as the rest of us. Very few really do it just for the kids,, it is a career,,,, more and more students are being home taught with the computer age it will continue, so enrollment is going to keep going down, and it is the home taught students that seem to win most awards. What does that say for our system?

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6lumper(281 comments)posted 1 year, 2 months ago

"STEP UP" I will not step up so you can pad your retirement fund as you waddle off into retirement. this is about creating a slush fund for the next round of teacher/administrator raises. VOTE NO

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