Niles schools needs new levy in May just to stay afloat

NILES

If Niles voters approve an emergency 5.85-mill school levy May 8, the annual revenue of $1.3 million “will only keep us afloat,” Superintendent Ann Marie Thigpen said at a public forum Wednesday.

“We won’t be able to do anything additional,” and staffing and curriculum cuts are inevitable if voters reject it, she said.

Thigpen said the Ohio Department of Education has questioned why the millage is not higher. But, she said, “We had a 9.25-mill levy rejected by 70 percent of the voters. That’s not going to work in May.”

More than 50 people were at Niles Middle School to discuss the 10-year levy and a recent state performance audit that recommends a number of cost-cutting measures, including the elimination of 18 positions, many of them teachers. The audit found that the district would save nearly $3.4 million if its recommendations are implemented.

“The board will be voting on cuts at its next meeting [April 19],” Thigpen said. She later said those include one teaching position, two administrative positions “and a para-professional.”

Read more about the situation in Friday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.

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