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Kent Schools Put Levy on May 2013 Ballot

District asking voters to approve 8.9-mill operating levy

Kent voters will be asked in May to vote on a 8.9-mill operating levy for the Kent City Schools.

The Kent City Schools Board of Education voted this week to put the levy on the May 2013 ballot.

The levy would pay for general operations of the school district and would raise $4.25 million per year. It would cost the owner of a house valued at $100,000 for tax purposes $272.56 per year.

"That breaks down to $0.75 per day," Kent City Schools Treasurer Debbie Krutz said.

School administrators told the education board during Tuesday's meeting that the district has saved $4.2 million annually the past few years thanks to belt-tightening efforts. The district's voters last approved an operating levy 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,” Kent City Schools Superintendent Joseph Giancola said.

Giancola and Krutz told the board that cuts in state support to local schools make the levy a necessity.

This year marks the first year ever that the district earned the highest possible rating from the Ohio Department of Education on the latest state report cards measuring school success.

Data published in October by the ODE shows Kent schools earned an "Excellent with Distinction" rating — the highest of six possible ratings issued by the state.

Giancola said if voters approve 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.

“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.”

Ted M April 09, 2013 at 10:17 PM
Right on Kit!!!! Just think, we will vote for another levy in 6 months, for a new police station........ I would hate to see what you would have to pay
Chris (Kit) Myers April 10, 2013 at 01:12 AM
Yep, and the County soon to follow looking for our money for a new jail I hear tell they are already giving tours to show people how bad it is. I would hate to see what EVERYBODY would have to pay. I can weather the storm. There are a whole lot of people for whom seventy-five cents a day for this and then seventy-five cents a day for that and then seventy-five more cents a day for something not yet thought up in the fertile brains of our leaders, makes all the difference in his/her daily struggle to keep up with the price of groceries and water and gas and electricity and insurance and rent and whatever. The schools want money. The police want money. The County wants money. Hey guys; there ain't enough there. Ya better sit down and start talking about how to divvy up the pot that currently exists and figure out how you can all "git by." Everybody thinks their little empire is the most important. Get over it! Share the pot!If you are unwilling to do that, step aside for someone else. A bunch of tin gods. Cheesh.... I wish Paul Yacavona were still around.
Jon Ridinger April 10, 2013 at 01:21 AM
The police levy, if they repeat the previous try, won't be a property tax increase, it will be an income tax increase. If it passes, everyone who works in Kent and/or lives in Kent would see their taxes go up and those of us who live, but don't work, in Kent would pay the difference between where we work and Kent's new rate (so if I work in a city with a 2.0% tax rate and Kent's goes up to 2.25%, then I'd pay Kent 0.25% of my income). The city actually gets very little property tax compared to the schools. The vast majority (73%) goes to the schools with the city getting 14% and the county getting 13%. For commercial property taxes, the schools get even more (77%). The city's main source of revenue is income tax.
Kathy April 12, 2013 at 09:24 PM
Why does more money equate to a better education for our children? Does that mean our teachers and administrators aren't doing the best job now and why not!!
Stressed April 20, 2013 at 03:38 PM
The City of Kent has had a business building boom which should have been a boom for Kent City Schools, but no, Kent gave a number of those business a large and lengthy tax abetment which should not have been so generous. That caused us property owners to have to make up the tax money needed for the schools. I say WHY should property owners have to bear the full brunt of supporting the schools. Education is the responsibly of everyone. What has been done by the legislators to find a better way to fund the schools? I will vote NO just to sent a message to the State and City legislators that they need to get off their Butts and figure a better way to fund schools in ohio. Thank You, Stressed

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