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.”