November 22, 2014

Elyria
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Two Clearview school levies pass

SHEFFIELD TWP. — Clearview school officials were thrilled Tuesday night when two levies, a five-year, 3.92-mill renewal and a 1-mill permanent improvement levy, both passed.

The renewal levy passed 914 for to 627 against while the improvement levy passed with a nar-rower margin of 792 for to 747 against.

The renewal will raise $352,690 a year and keep Clearview schools in the black through 2015, School board Treasurer John Scott said.

“We hope,” he added.

The district must pass another renewal levy next year but for now, Scott said he’s “ecstatic” about the success.

“All the renewal levies are doing is keeping us afloat for the next five years,” Scott said. “It de-pends on what the state does. We’re hoping not to need a new levy. …Tonight, I’m just ecstatic.”

The renewal will pay for daily general operations and supplies while the permanent improvement levy funds will buy a new school bus, textbooks, two used vans, a new high school gym floor, general building repairs and new technology including iPads. It is expected to raise $87,000 annually.

Superintendent Thomas Jama was also “very, very happy,” he said.

“I am so pleased,” he said. “I just want to thank the Clearview community for trusting us and knowing that we are going to do what’s best for each student within the district.”

After the prior rejection by voters of seven emergency levies, a 5.9-mill levy barely passed in 2007. That levy expires in 2012 so without Tuesday’s success, the district would have been $400,000 in the red by 2012 – a situation that Jama has previously said would have necessitated staff cuts.

Board member Melissa Newsome said Clearview succeeded where other districts failed because of the way the board presented their case to the public.

The district held public forums, sent out literature explaining the need and went door-to-door promoting the levy. It touted its state rating jump from “continuous improvement” to “effective” and the new classroom technology that helped the district improve academically. An “effective” rating is one below a top rating of “excellent.”

“We got out there and we talked to the public,” Newsome said. “We asked for the minimal amount, exactly what we need to educate our kids. I think it’s just awesome.”

Jama agrees the win Tuesday night is a reflection of the effort put in to the levy promotion.
“I can attribute the success to a team of people who worked together positively, promoted a positive message and were just a strong team,” he said. “The levy committee, the staff, board members and parents, all the stakeholders took a vested interest in these two issues and that’s what got it passed.
We are very, very happy.”

Contact Alicia Castelli at 329-7155 or acastelli@chroniclet.com.