Published August 13, 2008
Regardless of what you think of the Youngstown city school system, you have to give the school board credit for trying to find a new way of winning voter approval for an additional tax levy.
The district has failed three times to pass a tax and each time it would have been in effect for five years. Now, it's making a fourth attempt — with a twist. Rather than five years, the 9.5-mill tax, if passed, would be in effect for four years. And, school board members say they would not seek a renewal.
Will this olive branch be enough to win over a majority of the residents who have thus far been unimpressed with the argument that the $18 million budget shortfall cannot be reduced without an infusion of new revenue? It's anybody's guess.
But given the anti-tax sentiment that has swept this region, passing any levy in November will be a major challenge. Indeed, the just completed special elections in several school districts could be an indication of things to come. All the school issues failed — even though special elections usually work in favor of the proponents.