October 24, 2014

Elyria
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Black River rallies to support May 7 school levy

SPENCER — About 30 Black River students and parents rallied Saturday in the Spencer village center to support of a 5.9-mill levy on the May 7 ballot.

Black River Schools students rally Saturday in Spencer to support an 8.7-mill levy on the May ballot. (CT photo by Kiera Manion-Fischer.)

Chuck Scotch, 68, a Homer Township resident, said seniors need to support the community’s children. He said his five grandchildren have graduated from Black River and he wants to see other students have the same opportunities they had.

“I can afford a dollar a day,” he said. “That’s one pop.”

The levy will cost the owner of a $100,000 home an additional $266.44 a year, and bring in $1.6 million a year for five years for the district.

Kala Crislip, co-owner of the Main Street Market and eighth grade girls’ basketball coach, said the eight girls on her team were upset at the end of the season, because some of them weren’t sure they would be able to afford to play sports in high school.

The district charges a $375 pay-to-play fee for each sport, and school officials said they may increase the fee to $400 if the levy is not approved.

“To me personally, it’s most important, not only to support the schools and our kids — we want to see these little towns around here prosper,” Crislip said.

Alan Young, levy co-chair and head high school football coach, agreed that the school district need the levy.

“Money is tight, our need is real,” he said.

Young said the board of education has released a list of cuts that would be made if the levy is not approved.

Potential cuts include no new improvements to buildings, the elimination of all advanced placement and industrial arts and wood courses, and not replacing any teacher who retires.

The last time district voters approved new money was in 1997, he said.

Ella Yoder, 11, a sixth grader, held a sign that said, “Honk to support BR!”

She stood on the street corner with several friends. She said she wants to see all them graduate from Black River High School, and not have to transfer to other schools.

Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.