July 30, 2014

Elyria
Intermittent clouds
63°F
test

LORAIN SCHOOLS

District seeks 6.43-mill levy to stop bleeding

Issue 30 What: A 6.43-mill emergency levy
Duration
: Five years
Amount raised
: $4.6 million a year
Purpose: To run the schools, maintain current staffing and programs, and maintain facilities
Cost: The owner of a $100,000 home will pay an additional $200 a year

Alicia Castelli
The Chronicle-Telegram

LORAIN — The Lorain school district is asking voters to approve a five-year, 6.43-mill emergency levy to avoid personnel layoffs and offset a projected $2.7 million deficit.
The school board originally planned to put a $5 million, 10-year levy on the ballot in May but pulled the issue so it wouldn’t compete with an income tax levy the city was asking residents to pass.
In November 2008, the district failed to pass a 4.9-mill levy by a narrow margin. A levy committee is still fighting in the courts to have 170 provisional votes counted in case the result changes the outcome of the levy failure.
Board President Cynthia Miller has said the fallout from another levy failure would be drastic and said it would certainly “impact our students in a negative way.”
“Without a levy, there’s about a $9 million deficit by June 2011,” district Treasurer Dale Weber said. “If the levy passes, we’ll still have $2.5 million deficit by June 2011.”
Weber said passing the levy is critical to the district, noting the district hasn’t had a new levy in 17 years.
“Charter schools have come in and taken away approximately $9.6 million in a year and kids are open-enrolling out of here at the rate of about $3.8 million a year,” Weber said. “That’s just taking money away from us terribly.”
Board member Paul Biber has said the money raised by the levy would be used to maintain current staffing levels and educational programs as well as facility maintenance.
Contact Alicia Castelli at 329-7144  or acastelli@chroniclet.com.