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Election 2013: Kent Schools put 8.9 Mill Levy on May Ballot

If approved, levy would generate $4.25 million per year

Kent voters will be asked to approve an 8.9-mill operating levy request from Kent City Schools.

The continuing operating levy, Issue 8 on the ballot, would raise $4.25 million per year for the school district.

It would cost the owner of a house valued at $100,000 for tax purposes $272.56 per year.

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.

Sa;;y April 23, 2013 at 02:19 PM
I would like to say first that I believe everyone who works hard deserves to get raises. That said, I have been under a wage freeze for five years and can't "vote" myself a raise. An article in the March 2013 Kent City Schools Focus newsletter really makes me wonder how the school board decided this is a good time to ask for such a high levy. Back page "Walls Elementary....." the article states that "MORE THAN 40 PERCENT OF THE STUDENTS ARE IDENTIFIED AS ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED." Wouldn't it stand to reason the parents probably are not financially secure enough to withstand this hit on their property taxes? And if they rent, their rent will go up when the landlords property taxes go up. I just don't think this is a good time to go after such a high levy. Also, what happened to all the money the schools were going to get from the Ohio casinos? The schools and school boards should be going after Kasich for our piece of the pie.
Renee April 24, 2013 at 05:39 PM
There will never be a good time to ask for a levy - regardless of the economy. And if we wait on other funding for our schools, our kids suffer in the meantime. We have to take care of our own communities - nobody else will. Costs of everything go up - groceries, gas, clothing - operating costs for education are no different. It's a part of life and it always will be. I, too, have been on a wage freeze for four years - but I will vote yes. If we do not support our children now, when we are elderly, they will not know how to support and care for us... We have to take care of them and keep our communities healthy and safe by keeping kids educated and dedicated to things they love. Not supporting school levy's hurts everybody - whether taxpayers realize it or not. In order to have healthy kids and healthy communities, the kids have to know we support them. We can't afford to NOT pass this levy.
The Omnipotent Sponge - Soak it up! April 24, 2013 at 10:43 PM
A shame they have to ask for a levy. All the supposedly great development downtown and new college students coming out our ears and we still need a levy? Plus we raise these kids and tell them to go to college. Then we make college cost so much. Why? Why set them up for debt? What type of American dream have we hoisted upon them?
john doe April 27, 2013 at 01:50 AM
Info the state of ohio reduced money to the district by 1 to 2 million a year also you talk about down town well the city had the option to pull levy money as capital improvements from the school district so when you ask about more money from downtown the money the district gets is several million dollars less not more
Doug April 28, 2013 at 10:42 AM
Please give these poor teachers a raise. They work 6.5 hours a day for almost 250 days a year. They even have a deductible for their health insurance, dental, vision and prescriptions. Do you know they only get 7 Mondays off this year instead of 10! I believe everyone should get a Monday off if the are forced to work a couple of evening hours for parent/teacher conferences. I'll be thinking of these hard working professionals when I vote. I hope you do too!
Linda Guyas April 28, 2013 at 11:29 AM
Doug, your comments are so inane I hate to waste time addressing them. As Renee said, everybody's expenses go up. Operating levies are just that - for operating the schools. Granted , a large portion of operating costs is for salaries, but aren't teachers really the most important element of education? You apparently don't have a lot of respect for teachers. I suggest you spend some time, even just a little time, volunteering in a classroom to see what teachers do every single day. They couldn't pay me enough to do that job.
Lisa Mz April 28, 2013 at 01:27 PM
"More of half of the state's public school districts received ratings of excellent or better in the 2011-12 Ohio school report card data released today ... The Ohio Department of Education graded 138 districts Excellent with Distinction, 249 Excellent ..." Plain Dealer, October 17, 2012 (http://bit.ly/QrmOkX). Not trying to be a jerk -- just noting the very generous application of the term "excellence."
Donna Hess April 29, 2013 at 12:58 AM
Doug, I was a teacher in Kent for 34 years, and I can assure you I did not work 6.5 hour days. After I was done with the school day, I prepared lessons for the next day, graded papers, and went over materials I needed to consider for future lessons. It was more like a 10 hour day. I also worked 10-12 hours every weekend, even taking papers with me when we attended family events so that I wouldn't fall too far behind. That's what most good teachers do. i can tell you several stories of elementary teachers who don't leave the building until 6-7 at night. And my summers I spent taking classes (which cost hundreds of dollars...now it is more like thousands of dollars) and reading new books to possibly use with my students. By the second week in August, at the latest I was back in my classroom getting it ready for the fall. And oh, by the way, I also spent 2,000-3,000 of my own money EACH year to bring supplies and decorations into my classroom. Yes, certainly teachers deserve more pay. Public education is the very basis of our democracy and every kid out there is entitled to the best education he can possibly get...and yes, that takes money.
iloveohio April 30, 2013 at 02:18 AM
Possibly Lisa, so probably a better measure of excellence would be to look at a district's value added growth, which measures the progress that students in one district make as compared to all of the other districts in Ohio. Kent's students' progress for the 2011-2012 school year put them in the top 7% of all school districts in Ohio. In other words, Kent students made more progress than 93% of the school districts in the state. So, even if you believe that the term excellence is applied generously as far as ratings are concerned, you have to admit that the fact that Kent's value added growth is one of the highest in the state is pretty impressive.
Jean Boarman May 08, 2013 at 01:04 AM
I'm voting yes, Linda, Alexis and I miss you and Donna Hess my vote is for you and all the Teachers because there is no way I could do it!!

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