April 17, 2014

Mostly sunny

Cloverleaf Schools levy failure brings bus cuts

WESTFIELD TWP. — Officials at Cloverleaf Schools plan to cancel busing for high school students when they return from winter break and have set auctions for three elementary schools following the defeat of a 6.9-mill levy Nov. 6.

Daryl Kubilus

Superintendent Daryl Kubilus announced the district’s plans to the Financial Planning and Supervision Commission at its meeting Thursday. The state placed the school district in fiscal emergency in January and the commission oversees Cloverleaf’s financial decisions.

Kubilus said it was a difficult decision, but curtailing busing for high school students was the result of four failed levy attempts and five years of cuts. The recent emergency levy failed 5,443 votes to 4,819, according to the Medina County Board of Elections, and would have brought in $3.3 million a year over 10 years for operating expenses.

“We waited five years and during that time we made $6.1 million in cuts,” Kubilus said.

The district has been under fiscal watch by the state since 2004. Earlier this year, the district eliminated staff, froze wages and increased pay-to-play for athletics.

As for the property to be sold, Seville Elementary School and contents will be auctioned off Jan. 5 and the Lodi Elementary School building and contents will be auctioned off Jan. 12. On Dec. 15, the contents of Westfield Elementary School will be on the auction block. The district is working on selling the building to an interested buyer and it won’t be auctioned off at this time.

Kubilus said he is working to schedule open house dates for people to tour the elementary buildings before they are on the auction block.

On an optimistic note, Kubilus said the Nov. 6 levy only failed by 6 percentage points, compared to 26 points last year.

“Our ‘yes’ votes increased by 66 percent,” he said.

Kubilus said he’s certain the school board will place another levy on the ballot; the only question is the millage. A 5.7-mill levy is set to expire at the end of 2013. He said the board is considering whether to put the renewal up separately from any additional millage request.

“We’re considering all our options for the May ballot,” Kubilus said. “But there will definitely be a levy.”

The school board will meet 6 p.m. Dec. 10 in the high school library. The commission meets again 10:30 a.m. Dec. 13.

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com.

  • Jeff M

    This is despicable. These buses run these routes anyway. How much will they save by stopping a few less times? This will result in cars stuffed full of teenagers, many of them driving in snow for the first time. Daryl Kubilus is threatening the safety of the kids because he can’t budget properly. And again, just how much will these measures save?

  • JC

    Daryl Kubilus and the staff of the Cloverleaf Local Schools are responding appropriately and responsibly to the failure of a community to fund it’s schools sufficiently through tax dollars-which is essentially the only means by which a school district can raise funds. This is not about inappropriate budgeting. The district has cut millions of dollars from it’s budget and dozens of staff from it’s payroll and is now close to operating at state minimum standards. There is little more the district can do to cut expenses. No matter how the community votes, the children will come to school and the district must educate them. And they can’t do it without appropriate support from all of us, whether we agree with how Ohio schools are funded or not. The community must step up, which it appears is beginning to happen. The district is in fiscal oversight, which means every expense is closely monitored. These measures will save significant dollars or they would not be considered. The situation is very sad and scary, particularly as the parent of a Cloverleaf student. I want the best possible education for my child and am willing to pay for it. Right now, the quality education Cloverleaf delivers is being threatened by a lack of essential funding. The district has done it’s part-now we must do ours.

  • Phil

    I wholeheartedly disagree with folks on this. Cloverleaf is holding voters hostage with this latest news. Voters know a levy needs passed. People vote NO because the cuts are not centered around education. The “extra” items need cut….. things like sports and the athletic director. The taxpayers want to fund ONLY the core education. nThe Cloverleaf district needs to follow Medina and have a meeting with the NO voters. This will plainly open their eyes to what will pass a levy.