YORK TWP. — Buckeye Schools, which has not received new operating money in 17 years, once again will ask the community for financial help.
The school board is seeking an approximately 7.9-mill levy for the November ballot. Board President Tracy Mattern said the Medina County Board of Elections has yet to certify the exact millage amount, which will be set to bring in about $3.16 million a year for five years.
“We made a commitment not to ask for money until we needed it,” Mattern said. “Very simply, we need it.”
He said the district is anticipating up to a $1.7 million deficit by the end of July 2012, which does not account for $500,000 in anticipated cuts to be handed down by the state.
“There’s really no more significant cuts that will carve out that amount of money that will allow us to keep offering an excellent education for our kids,” Mattern said.
The district has had 11 failed ballot requests for new operating money since 1994, the most recent of which was a 6.8-mill levy in August 2010 that was defeated by about 55 percent.
Last November, the district was slated to ask for an earned income tax, but removed the issue from the ballot before the vote after receiving about $350,000 in delinquent taxes.
Mattern said the district cannot rely on such good fortune to keep the district afloat.
“It probably helped buy us another year,” Mattern said. “There could be (another) collection but it might be a dollar and it might be $350,000 again. There’s no guarantee there.”
He said the board has tried to be “judicious” in its spending but can no longer survive without help from the community.
“We have tried to be good stewards and stay within our means within our budget,” Mattern said. “The good news is, we’ve stretched it. The bad news is, the rubber band is ready to break.”
Contact Jennifer Pignolet at (330) 721-4063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.