|More devastating cuts for Elida if levy fails|
|Friday, April 26, 2013 1:54 PM|
This time, Elida hopes voters will pass a 5.95-mill property tax levy, which would provide some financial stability for the next five years, generating $2.1 million annually. After the failure of November’s levy, the school board approved a $465,569 reduction plan that will still go into effect regardless of whether or not May’s attempt succeeds.
If it fails, more reductions will be made. District officials are stumped as to where those reductions will come from.
“It’s an impossible task to say what’s next because anything less than what we have now will be devastating to our district,” Diglia said.
Elida has cut 43 staff positions over the last 10 years and is currently at just 14 teachers above the minimum to meet state standards. Further cuts could include letting go of a building coach at the elementary, a science teacher, language arts teacher and foreign language teacher at the high school, a foreign language teacher at the middle school and a return to half-day kindergarten.
“Going to half-day kindergarten is really the only true reflection of a cut because those kids go away: we’d only get them for half a day,” Diglia said. “But cutting those teaching positions at the middle school and high school, those kids don’t go away. We still have to do something with them. They can’t go in the other classes because they’re too full. What we’d have to do is hire a study hall monitor and send those kids to study hall instead of class.”
Diglia says cuts could be made to extracurriculars and other course offerings but doing so would result in a less thorough education and would make Elida’s students less competitive in college.
“We spend about half a million dollars on extracurriculars but I can’t even entertain that thought,” he said. “It’s much more than athletics,; it’s also performing arts, quiz bowl, National Honor Society, student council. If we’re going to be a comprehensive public school, we’re going to have to have things for our kids to do, otherwise, they’ll be out on the street. It’s part of a well-rounded education, part of community pride. It’s part of why people come to Elida.”
Elida will also ask for a renewal of its 1-mill permanent improvement levy. This is a renewal and does not increase district residents’ taxes.