By Kalea hall
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.