Kent Schools put 8.9-mill levy on ballot

Issue going before voters in may would bring in about $4.25 million per year for the district

Record-Courier staff report Published:

Kent Board of Education members have approved placing an 8.9-mill continuing operating levy on the May 2013 ballot.

Superintendent Joe Giancola said the levy would bring in approximately $4.25 million in new funds to the district per year.

Giancola said all 8.9 mills of the proposed levy would go toward the general fund because unlike some other districts, Kent City Schools does not propose separate permanent improvement levies, which raise funds for facilities and property with an expected usefulness of five years or more. Instead the district transfers $430,000 per year from its general fund into its permanent improvement fund.

Kent voters last approved an operating levy for the schools in 2006.

"Because of our cost-savings initiatives and the wage freezes approved by teachers, administrators and staff members, we were able to stretch our last operating monies for seven years--well past the anticipated four years," he said.

Giancola and Treasurer Debbie Krutz reported that the annual cost savings of $4.2 million will continue each year, but the sharp reduction in funding from the state makes passing this levy an absolute necessity.

"Kent Schools provide an excellent education for the young people of our community," Giancola said. "Our recent 'Excellent with Distinction' rating from the Ohio Department of Education makes this very clear. Unfortunately, in order to continue to educate our students in the way our community expects, school districts in Ohio have no other viable alternative than asking local taxpayers for operating funds."

Giancola told board members that with the passing of the May 2013 levy, the district will maintain its commitment to classroom instruction and extracurricular activities, as well as providing bus transportation to all who qualify. In addition, the district will upgrade its safety and security measures and resources.

Giancola said residents with questions about the levy could call the Kent City Schools Board of Education office at 330-676-7600 or visit kentlevy.org, a privately run website that will be updated with information about the levy campaign.

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.

  • DoWhatsRight thanks iloveohio for an informative discussion. lol There was no discussion, iloveohio pointed out the truth so others would not be fooled by your conservative rhetoric dowhat. The problem is YOU dowhat. Why don't you actually do something about a problem for once in your life? Instead of speculating and finger pointing on blogs in the RC. How's the court watch group? LIAR LIAR

  • DoWhatsRight - Why don't you go to their next board meeting and ask them about their timing on the issue? I have never heard anything negative about Kent Schools, so I guess my problem with what you're doing is that you are speculating publicly instead of just asking them yourself. This type of speculation often leads to the spreading of false rumors and innuendo, when, in fact, they may be perfectly innocent of what you're accusing them of. Have you ever heard anything negative about the Kent School Board or administration at all? I've lived in Brimfield for quite a while, and I've never heard anything but good things about that district. In fact, I've even considered open enrolling my own child there.

  • Iloveohio Thank you for the link. It does lend some credence to the belief that the levy was considered before the Sandy Hook tragedy; however the long wait from August to December could be evidence that they were waiting for the most advantageous time to announce the need for the tax increase. I can not know what was in the hearts and mind of the School Board when they announced this levy. I would certainly hope that it was an error in judgment rather than trying to take advantage of the tragedy. One may never know, but one must always question. Thank you iloveohio for an informative discussion on a very serious problem.

  • DoWhatsRight - I agree that people often have ulterior motives and that politicians and other public figures do have a tendency to use tragedies to their advantage, so I googled Kent Schools Levy to see if this past week's board meeting was the first time the levy was mentioned, and I found an article (Record Courier, I think) from August where the Kent School Board first began discussing the need to put a levy on this year. Because I live in Brimfield, I have heard a lot about school levies these past few years, and I remember that the district could not put a levy on without the official vote of the school board. I think the timing was unfortunate, but I don't believe it had anything to do with Sandy Hook. My guess is that it was already on their agenda. Also, I know people who work in Kent Schools, and they have the utmost respect for their superintendent. I haven't spoken to them, but I would bet that they would not believe that he would do something like that. Here is the link to the August article: http://kent.ohio.com/kent-blog-1.275353/kent-school-district-prepares-to-issue-levy-to-make-up-for-unexpected-expenses-1.327150

  • Iloveohio That is exactly what I am doing; I am questioning the School Board’s motive. Why did they announce this levy now? There is plenty of time before the next election. Yet they announced this levy 1 week after the shooting and while they were still burying the children. There is plenty of time for the Board of Education to come out in a public announcement saying why they need more money, and advise the public. If the motive was not to play on the fears and sympathy of the people, I would think they would have waited out or respect for the lost in the Sandy Hook tragedy. I fail to see how my questioning the School Board’s motive might forward any agenda. Believe me the members of some school boards and for that matter some school administrations is not beyond playing this tragedy card.

  • when do the teachers union contracts expire?

  • DoWhatsRight - Aren't you the same person who slammed Field Schools when they had their levy on the ballot? I don't have children in Kent Schools, and I'm not a Kent taxpayer, but I have to question the motives of anyone who would relate a school levy in Ohio to the tragedy that happened in Connecticut. I believe that you are the one who is using the Sandy Hook tragedy to further your own agenda, not Kent Schools.

  • Such a shame that the residents of Kent can't afford all the really nice things that the schools and city government would like to do. I suggest that Kent set revenue quotas for its residents and use eminent domain to take the property of under performers and give it to more profitable people.

  • Well I think Kent Schools should be ashamed of themselves. I think they picked this time to announce in order to take advantage of the Sandy Hook school tragedy. They figured that would turn the people toward more school money. Remember the liberals saying, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”