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SWCS back to the ballot in August
It's official - voters will see an operating levy on the Aug. 4 ballot.
At the May 18 South-Western City School District meeting, the board of education unanimously voted in favor of placing an issue on the special election ballot.
This was the second and final vote. The resolution will be forwarded to the Franklin County Board of Elections by the deadline of May 21.
The issue will be the same as the one voters saw in May; a four-year 8.3-mill tax levy. It would cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $22 per month or $264 per year.
"Our parents, students and community members asked us for another chance to restore as many of the level two reduction items as we could through an August levy attempt," said Board President Cathy Johnson. "We want them to know we were listening to them."
Level two cuts include eliminating athletics and extracurricular activities, closing Harrisburg Elementary and the Kingston School, shutting down the buildings after the school day and cutting 66 positions. High school busing will also be eliminated and walk zones will be expanded for other grade levels.
According to the district, the operating funds are needed to maintain current educational programs and avoid a $20 million deficit in 2011.
Johnson explained in the past three years, the district has cut over $22 million from its budget. This has eliminated approximately 340 positions.
Superintendent Dr. Bill Wise said if voters pass the levy in August, the district will try to restore the level two cuts "to the best of our ability."
He warns, "Things will not look the same in the fall."
Wise urged citizens to contact state legislators.
"I am still hopeful that the governor's plan will help South-Western City Schools eventually. We need the community to help us financially in the short term and with the legislative process in the long term," said Wise.
It will cost the district $85,000 to place an issue on the Aug. 4 ballot.
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