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Mahoning school levies split on ballot



Published: Wed, November 6, 2013 @ 12:09 a.m.

By Denise Dick

denise_dick@vindy.com

CANFIELD

Mahoning County voters approved a school levy in one community, while rejecting one in another.

Canfield voters OK’d that district’s five-year, 5.9-mill additional operating levy with 50 percent of votes cast in favor and 49.6 percent against, according to unofficial vote totals from the Mahoning County Board of Elections.

South Range voters, though, turned down that district’s 10-year, 4.8-mill additional levy with 34 percent of voters in favor and 66 percent against.

Leo Daprile, co-chairman of the Committee to Support Canfield Schools, said the committee is thankful to the Canfield community for having the confidence to invest in the future of the schools.

The levy will generate $3,247,378 annually and cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $200 annually.

The money generated will be used to restore busing within the district, increase course offerings, implement all-day kindergarten, update safety and security in all schools and eliminate the pay-to-participate program.

This marks a victory after three straight levy losses for the district.

Canfield last passed a levy in 2002. The district asked for a 6.8-mill operating-levy in both November 2010 and May 2011, but both failed. Those levies would have brought in $3.6 million annually.

In November 2011, residents turned down a 4.9-mill operating-levy, which would have brought in about $2 million.

After the losses, the district eliminated high school busing, adjusted school fees and laid off more than 40 school employees to show the community additional revenue was needed.

Superintendent Alex Geordan said this time the district ran a positive, transparent campaign, telling community members exactly how their money would be spent.

“This levy will raise $3 million,” he said. “That’s very humbling, and we’re very appreciative of that.”

Door-to-door transportation will be restored for kindergarten through fourth-grade students and transportation for high school students will be offered from centralized pickup spots.

As far as expanded course offerings, Geordan said more Advanced Placement and College in High School courses would be offered for high school students as well as more courses for middle school students.

That will improve rigor for students and help the district meet its vision statement to be ranked in the top 10 in Ohio by 2017.

“That’s our goal and our mission and we intend to get there,” Geordan said.

South Range Superintendent Dennis Dunham couldn’t be reached.

In West Branch, district voters resoundingly rejected a continuous 0.75 percent additional income tax that would have raised $1.95 million annually. Unofficial vote totals in Mahoning and Columbiana counties show the tax being defeated by a 3-to-1 margin.


Comments

1lumper(284 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

the real truth is that the money will go towards an overgenerous pension match program and equally overgenerous health insurance. the school board will hire new people with connections.

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2walter_sobchak(1979 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

I am surprised that the Canfield levy passed. The State of Ohio is under a Supreme Court order to change the funding mechanism for schools by reducing the need for property taxes on homeowners. I will keep voting against these levies until it hurts. Excessive pensions, unrealistic healthcare coverage, unneeded busing, etc. How about the Canfield teachers taking only a 2% raise instead of a 3% raise a few years ago and calling it a 1% pay cut to try to deceive the voters to pass a levy. They got their money anyway. My favorite is driving by one of the school bus stops on Callahan Drive in the morning and there are four cars with kids waiting for the bus! Here's a suggestion - drive them to the school!

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3walter_sobchak(1979 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Since the construction industry, to which I am allied, has not fared well in the last 5 years, I have not had a pay increase. Now, I'm sure that my HC insurance is more expensive so my net is less! But, what I earn has nothing to do with what the teachers are compensated! This problem goes back farther than our current governor, who has turned the state finances around. The Nov 2010 levy went down and Kasich wasn't even the governor. In May 2011, he had only been in office about 4 months. Care to explain how you can blame Kasich for that? Now, I'm no fan of his support for charter schools but the point is missed. The funding mechanism needs changed. Districts must be consolidated so that economies of scale can be achieved. The STRS needs changed and retire/rehire must end.

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4jojuggie(1478 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Let's see, since 1989, we have had 2 demo-c RAT presidents - Clinton & numb-nuts at the present time. If gdog wants to play that game, well, let's play.

The present incumbent has had more to do with bringing down wages. He is in so much trouble now that he can't concentrate on jobs.

I thought Carter was was a nobody, but Obama take the cake.

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5Roger_Thornhill(626 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Boo hoo. Teachers work 9 .5 months a year, get spring break and Christmas break, and all holidays and weekends off. Fantastic benefits and retirement and all they do is whine and complain. Get real.

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