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Reporting on the state of education in your community and across the country.

Willoughby-Eastlake School Levy On Aug. 6 Special Election Ballot

[Jason Kolenda / shutterstock]

Voters in the Willoughby-Eastlake City School district will head to the polls Aug. 6 to vote on a levy as part of a special election.

The 4.99 mill tax levy will make up for a budget shortfall of more than $8 million due to the loss of state tax revenue, Superintendent Steve Thompson says.

If approved by voters, the levy would cost a homeowner $152 year for every $100,000 of their home's assessed value. The school district needs the levy to avoid having budget cuts impact student education, Thompson says.

“In 2012, we made almost  $14 million a year in cuts and we have sustained those cuts,” Thompson says. “We cut 50 teachers in 2012 and 127 staff members. We don't have a lot left to cut. Anything we would have to cut at this point would be programming.”

The levy is expected to generate $8.2 million to pay for day-to-day operations, including transportation, utilities and classroom materials, Thompson says.

The district has tried to be open with voters about its needs, though Thompson says turn out for Tuesday's special election may be low.

“We put out three different videos that have had nearly 30,000 hits,” Thompson said. “We've delivered thousands of postcards. We've had multiple community meetings. By no means are we trying to slide it under the radar.”

If the levy doesn’t pass, the school district will try again on November's general election ballot, Thompson adds.

darrielle.snipes@ideastream.org | 216-916-6404