The Ashtabula Area City Schools District is asking voters to approve a five-year, 6.4-mill emergency property tax levy for operating costs on Tuesday’s ballot.
This is a reduction from the 6.8-mill emergency levy that appeared on the March ballot, which failed by about 500 votes.
If this new, lower levy passes on Tuesday, the owner of a home valued at $75,000 will pay $12.25 a month, Superintendent Joseph Donatone said.
“The state of Ohio has cut $1.7 million in state funding to Ashtabula Area City School students in the last two years,” he said. “This levy is about minimizing the cuts that have to be made to the district budget.”
If the levy passes, the school board will make the following changes:
- The student activity fee or “Pay to Play” will be eliminated for the 2012-13 school year;
- Three elementary teacher positions will be reinstated, and;
- Foreign language classes will be restored at the high school.
Donatone said property tax is the only avenue the school district has left. This levy is to support the operating expenses of the district. This is everything from personnel costs to utility bills.
Some retirees have asked why they should support the school system; after all, their children are grown and they’re on a fixed income now, Donatone said.
“We are a community, and the responsibility of educating children falls to all of us,” he said. “The community as a whole supported the school system when your children were being educated, and it is needed now to support your grandchildren.”