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Canfield voters asked to pass levy



Published: Sat, October 19, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Kalea hall

khall@vindy.com

CANFIELD

Canfield voters will decide on a 5.9-mill, additional five-year operating levy for the schools in November.

The $3,247,378 it would generate annually would restore busing in the district, implement all-day kindergarten, increase course offerings, eliminate the pay- to-participate program and upgrade safety and security. The levy will cost homeowners of a $100,000 home about $200 annually.

“This is really community- driven, and we are tying to show the public it is not only administration and staff looking to pass the levy,” said Alex Geordan, superintendent of Canfield schools. “[This is] truly a grass-roots campaign.”

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.

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

High-school busing was eliminated, school fees were adjusted and more than 40 school employees were let go in order to show the community additional revenue was needed.

“We are spending deficit, and we want to bring in additional dollars to pay the bills we currently have,” Geordan said.

A committee of community members, some of the school board members and staff spent time reviewing the district’s finances and found a levy was needed. Leo Daprile, a resident and parent of a senior at Canfield, was on the committee and is now the co-chairman of the Committee to Support Canfield Schools with his wife, Robin.

“I am looking at this [levy] as a way for us to invest in our children,” Daprile said.

The Committee to Support Canfield Schools continues to reach out to the community to answer any questions about the levy. There have been two public forums, and more are planned.

The committee will have a spaghetti dinner from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday at Canfield High School.

For additional questions about the levy or to find out when the next forum will be, email the committee at wecarecanfield@gmail.com.


Comments

1potmeetkettle(11 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

We've tightened the belt in our home through these difficult financial times. Canfield tightened their belt by eliminating high school busing, and implementing pay to participate fees.

Now, they want to reinstate the busing, and eliminate the extra curricular fees.

We can't afford the levy in my home. Fees for special courses should be absorbed by parents. Same with the sports and extra-curriculars.

The high school kids have been getting to and from school for two years without busing just fine.

Sorry, I will be voting no. I can't afford those additional taxes and I don't think those issues justify burdening the "village".

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2JillyB26(5 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

It's unfortunate residents don't realize that not supporting their school district hurts their community. Canfield has trimmed 4 million from the budget. A bulk of the levy will fund the school operations and pay off debt. The relief of busing and pay to play sports for families is only a portion of what the revenue will go toward. Funding is down and they are pulling money from reserves that will not last much longer (even with the cuts they have made). The reserve money is running out. Eventually there will not be any reserve left to begin a school year. That means open enrollment. Open enrollment has negative effects on districts like Canfield. Scores fall and property values plummet. Austintown went to open enrollment and has over 400 kinds that open enrolled there. There scores have sunk and they received multiple "F"s on their most recent report card. That has huge impacts on property values. In Canfield, you have a district with a vision to be in the top ten in the state of Ohio by 2017. Be supportive of the community and look at it as an investment.

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3potmeetkettle(11 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

JillyB26,

Canfield must think people are really stupid. If this levy is all about just making ends meet. Why even suggest getting rid of pay to participate or re-implement high school busing? Those two issues are not necessary. Canfield has been functioning just fine with both as they currently are.

I'm not sure Fitch is functioning as poorly as you claim. I would have to take a look into that.

And all we residents hear about is how great Canfield schools are, so telling us you want to be some top 10 school by 2017 is meaningless when you are forever singing your own praises.

I will not support a levy for unnecessary things. I can't afford it.

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4JillyB26(5 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Here are the grades from 2012-2013 curtesy of vindy

http://media3.vindy.com/news/document...

I don't reside in Canfield so I don't have a dog in this fight. I just don't think people understand that when your school runs out of money and has no choice but to open their enrollment up there are many consequences to home owners. The cost of a pizza per month is nothing next to thousands lost in property values because of bad schools. Keep failing levies and that's what will happen eventually.

I don't think the school district (or any district) thinks its voters are stupid. Pay to play and busing are such a small portion of the levy, things most schools offer. How about implementing all day Kindergarten and paying off debt they owe? Those are pretty important.

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5potmeetkettle(11 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

I do live here and I can't afford for my taxes to go up. And I suspect you live here too since you seem to have created an account just to comment on this article. My own healthcare costs are through the roof. It's not that I simply don't want to support the schools. I expect they would come to the voters with legitamite needs. Not, the issues they are-busing and pay to participate. They have already proven they can survive without those things. Now, they want to burden the taxpayer for those things?

Again, Canfield brags at how elite they are educationally. Our kids perform so well on testing we don't need all day kindergarten.

If Canfield is having problems paying their bills they sure messed up by telling the voters this levy is needed to eliminate pay to participate and run buses for high school students. Those are simply unnecessary "needs". It's a resounding No!

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6JillyB26(5 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

I live in Poland and did not create an account for this article, I just forgot my username and had to reset. I frequently comment on school issues as I work for the Educational Service Center and understand school budgets. I'm not sure how Canfield has marketed the levy but I can tell you they are running on a deficit. You can view any district's deficit on the Ohio Department of Education's website. Maybe it should be marketed differently? I know that was hammered when we had our levy up in Poland last fall.

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7BoardmanResident(9 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

JillyB,

Since you understand budgets, explain why taxpayers are being asked to support 5.9 mil versus the 4.9 mil that went down the last time? We are being duped again. I am voting no (I live in Canfield School district) until I see a strategic plan that makes sense for the future of Canfield schools. There's been no communication at all to the taxpayers like how much is in the reserve? Show me the money!!! Don't bring back HS busing and don't eliminate pay to play.

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8JillyB26(5 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Hi Bdm Resident! The cuts from Gov Kasich were pretty harsh to affluent districts like Canfield. These cuts occurred after the last levy (and prior, and will likely continue). Upon inspection, the specific amount cut to Canfield was 1 million annually. Gov Kasich's school funding plan revolves around the local tax payers paying more and the state paying less to fund education, especially in affluent districts. Levies typically spread over 5-10 years. That's probably the difference in amount.

As far as numbers, the Ohio Department of Education has Canfield forecasted as being 1.5 million in debt. That's about what we were in Poland when we had our levy up. Luckily levies passed in both Boardman and Poland and open enrollment was deferred in those districts.

I completely understand your stance on pay to play. From my experience parents often complain about that burden (not sure if that's true specifically to Canfield). I would say the district is making an attempt to appease parents and show they take their concerns seriously. It's very hard to please everyone in the education world! But, again, a small portion would go toward that. The majority would likely go toward that 1.5 mil forecasted deficit (a number that would grow significantly each year without additional revenue). You don't operate at a deficit like that. You look elsewhere if levies don't pass (i.e. revenue from open enrollment, it's honestly a last resort).

Looks like they are having forums for people with concerns and there's a contact email above. I understand concerns residents have. I also know districts don't go to the public unless they have to. I do remember Canfield cut 30 teaching positions in an effort to save, that's pretty significant in a district of Canfield's size. But communication is key and they need to let their residents know they need help.

Again, I work at the ESC and have a lot of experience working with different area districts. I live in Poland and love our district but I also have a lot of respect for Canfield. They are a very good district, very good. I just see what happens to good districts that lose support.

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9potmeetkettle(11 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

JillyB,

Is Canfield paying you to write your comments? Canfield DOES NOT take parents concerns seriously. Specifically the Athletic Department and I find it so rich that it is the athletic department asking for more money via tax dollars.

I'm sorry but it's really hard to take you seriously since you work in the education business and you clearly think you know everything there is to know about this levy despite living in Poland. Though earlier you did feign some ignorance on how this has been marketed.

Also, I have many friends who live in the Austintown School district and they are very put off by your comments. They love it there! I know many people who have graduated from Fitch and are doing well in this world. Besides when that article ran in the newspaper there was quite a bit of criticism I recall bashing the new grading system. So, I'm not putting much stock into your comments regarding Austintown schools.

i think it is funny you are telling us that Canfield Schools are very good. We live here! We know exactly how Canfield schools operate. And they operate just fine with no busing to the high school, pay to play fees and 1/2 day kindergarten. And any extras they want in terms of course offerings let the parents pay.

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10BoardmanResident(9 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Jill,

Schools are not the only ones losing government funding. Welcome to the new reality!! I work in health care and we too have seen drastic cuts from the federal government with no end in sight. Don’t ask taxpayers to pick up the tab when we don’t have it either! I have seen my friends get laid off or moved to other departments in my organization as jobs are being eliminated to meet the decline in reimbursements. I am living it too. I appreciate your detailed knowledge of the dollars and cents as I work long days and have not heard anything about the levy until now. I just don’t believe that the school has done enough to really convince me to support the levy. Every penny counts so don’t ask me fund nonessential things. The forecast is that the school will be debt, then they better get some new leaders in there to learn how to make ends meet like the rest of us. SORRY! Still not swayed.

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11BoardmanResident(9 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

One more thing. Don't threaten us with the open enrollment issue. There will not be a mass influx of students if that does happen in order to generate dollars. South Range, Austintown, Jackson Milton and many other area schools do it. The amount of students allowed to enter the system is on a tight leash in these areas and Canfield will be no different. Taxpayers - don't be fooled by threats!!!

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12JillyB26(5 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Sorry to upset, wasn't my intention. Just wanted to share another perspective. You're definitely right about funding cuts to other areas. I worked in a hospital before going to the ESC and my husband still does. It's unfortunate and very scary. Such a negative impact on patient care.

I can assure you canfield is not paying me and I'm not on their payroll : ) I typically advocate for education. I did a lot more to advocate for Poland and I'm not on their payroll either : ) I know a lot about Mah Co schools and some Col Co just bc of what I do. As I'm sure you have knowledge in your field.

Pot, I'm an Atown grad, that's primarily why I used them as an example. I feel I had a great education then! Just pointing out that over 400 kids (that's the actual number) open enrolled from Ytown alone. There was a drop in performance index scores and student yearly growth (those aren't new measurements, they were a part of the old grading system too) resulting in the lower report card grades. It's not the same as it used to be. That's why districts avoid open enrollment like the plague even though it brings in dollars. Bdm, Poland, canfield and Campbell are the only Mah Co ones left that are closed enrollment.

I'm not sure what you mean by tight leash? You can't be selective about the students you take in. That's illegal. It's strictly first come first serve. The only student that can be denied is one who has been expelled from another district. A district can choose to open to only adjacent districts though. As far as #s, I mentioned Atown had 400+ from Ytown city alone. That's a pretty good amount. They typically take to capacity ( if that many apply )bc the only reason it's done is for $.

I actually prefer the new grading system over the old one. It's absolutely confusing if you're not in education though. Like someone in education trying to interpret an MRI report! But I think it's a much better representation of student and district performance. At least when compared to the prior method.

Anyways, I just wanted to point out a few financials. It's important to be informed. I hate to see health care cut, I hate to see education cut. Thanks for the debate : )

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13potmeetkettle(11 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Here's how much Canfield wants to educate their taxpayers. For two days I have been trying to access their wecarecanfield.com website. It doesn't even work.

Who is paying for these yard signs they are distributing?

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14CanfieldGrad2014(1 comment)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Hi potmeet!

It's actually an e-mail address that's mentioned above instead of a website. It's wecarecanfield@gmail.com. That's probably why wecarecanfield.com isn't bringing anything up.
It's the committee's email if you have any questions.There is a FB page set-up under the name Support Canfield Schools.

We had a spaghetti dinner at our high school last Sunday and the members were there answering questions also. I saw people reserving yard signs so I'm guessing the spaghetti dinner is helping to fund that. All of the food was donated which was great!

I'm sure they'd be happy to answer any questions you have!

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