WESTFIELD TWP. — The 7.9-mill levy recommended by the school board was approved Thursday by the state commission tasked with overseeing Cloverleaf Schools’ finances.
Cloverleaf Superintendent Daryl Kubilus said parents are struggling particularly with the recent cut of high school busing, which took effect this month after a 6.9-mill November levy failed by a 6 percent margin.
Because of the district’s size, the busing cut “has had a greater effect on our parents than perhaps other school districts,” Kubilus said.
A May levy would restore high school busing, reopen buildings in the evenings and prevent a planned transition to an all-day, every-other-day kindergarten model from a half-day model. Those cuts were listed in the district’s fiscal recovery plan.
If the levy is approved by voters, Cloverleaf officials plan to set aside money for a trained, armed officer at each school, a move parents have requested. The district already has a school resource officer at the high school, which is funded by a grant.
Paul Marshall, chair of the fiscal oversight commission, told members it is important to note Cloverleaf has cut $6.2 million from its budget over the past several years.
The district has been in fiscal emergency for a year, and its finances are overseen by the five-member state commission.
If a levy does not pass in May, the fiscal oversight commission will direct the board to make more cuts, Kubilus said.
He also said the levy needed to be larger than the last one because the district has missed out on this year’s tax collections as a result of November’s levy failure.
The board approved the 7.9-mill levy at a Jan. 14 special meeting. If approved, it would bring in about $3.7 million a year for 10 years and would cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $248 a year.
Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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