Vandalia-Butler places operating levy on ballot again
VANDALIA, Feb 06, 2013 (Dayton Daily News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
To raise $3.9 million a year for the next five years, the Vandalia-Butler City Schools board voted this week to put a 6.99 mills emergency levy on the May 7 ballot.
The levy will cost residents about $214 a year on a home valued at $100,000.
Retiring superintendent Christy Donnelly said the three months leading to the election will include lots of outreach to the community that has voted down similar levies in three straight elections during the last 1 1/2 years.
"We will give it our best shot," said Donnelly. "We had a well-attended community meeting last week and have another one on Monday."
She said people complained before because the levy was continuing. This levy would be for five years.
"They called it a permanent levy, a forever levy," Donnelly said. "With a 5-year term, we can outline this is what it does for our finances over the next five years.
"We still have to make reductions, but the 60 (teacher reductions), that's the number that could change to 50 or 40. It's not only teachers, it's the equivalent of teachers, including administrators and non-classified."
Dan Schall, the district treasurer, said, "We haven't seen any real numbers," from the governor's proposed budget, but, "It would appear we're better off than we thought we'd be. The reality is, all the districts are in the same boat."
Donnelly said Vandalia and the rest of the state's school districts are expected to receive Kasich's full funding report this week, which then has to be passed by the legislature.
Thursday, the board begins negotiations with the teacher's union, which agreed to no raises during the past two years in addition to an increased health care contribution.
"Recently, I see much improved steps toward better communication from Vandalia-Butler school board members," said Susan Trissell, the PTO president at Smith Middle School and a substitute teacher. "Board vice-president Brian Boyd and board member Mary Kilsheimer recently attended a John E Smith PTO meeting.
"Since that meeting, each have returned phone calls from many local citizens and openly discussed what they know so far about the restructuring."
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