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Ohio voters are kinder than usual to school levies and bond issues
Primary voters Tuesday gave overwhelming nod to renewals and fair support to new issues

Ida Lieszkovszky

Voters across the state headed to the polls this week to make decisions about all kinds of levies – including almost 140 school issues. StateImpact Ohio’s Ida Lieszkovszky reports that it was a good day for schools.

LIESZKOVSZKY: Levies and Ohio voter

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About 90 percent of the requests for renewal levies were approved, as well 42 percent of requests for new money.

Damon Asbury follows levies for the Ohio School Boards Association.  “For a primary election results were a little better than normal.”

He says usually about 30 percent of new levy moneys pass, which means this year was better than most.

“Those are cases were school districts have been able to work with their local communities to help them understand the need for the additional money – what it will buy. “

That was the case at Black River Schools southwest of Cleveland. Connie Hange is the district’s treasurer.

“The levy committee was just absolutely awesome.”

This was the seventh levy attempt for the district over the last few years. It’s been 16 years since voters approved a levy for new funds for the district. Hange says the $1.6 million from the levy will allow the schools to keep operating without cutting more.

“It’s not a windfall by any means but it certainly does give us some breathing room.”

Over the years the district has tried to cut funds through everything from layoffs to reducing paper usage. Hange says they celebrated with some “chips and salsa today (laughs) and just making certain that the community understands how much we appreciate their support.”

Don’t worry, those chips and salsa were not paid for with the newly raised levy money.


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