Levies Fail Across 3 Cuyahoga County School Districts In May 4 Elections

A series of voting stations.
[vesperstock / Shutterstock]

Updated: 11:10 a.m., Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Local school districts struggled to garner support for levy proposals in Tuesday’s elections. Measures that would have created additional levies failed for Parma, North Olmsted and Rocky River schools.

Parma City School District proposed a similar ballot issue in November, which also failed to pass.

The district asked voters to approve a bond and levy increase that would have funded the construction of new school buildings for grades 6-12, as well as renovations at current buildings.

The bond proposal would have come with a price tag of roughly $271 million, according to the ballot proposal, which would be repaid annually over about 37 years. It would have levied a property tax of about $590 per $100,000 of tax valuation. An additional continuing levy would have added $40 per $100,000 of tax valuation.

Roughly 63 percent of voters rejected the measure Tuesday.

In a statement emailed to ideastream, Parma City Schools Superintendent Charles Smialek called the loss “resounding.” The district will take a few days to reflect upon the results, he said, and will rethink and retool its approach.

“The beauty of a school levy campaign, though, is that even when we lose, it doesn’t take very long to remember why we worked so hard in the first place,” Smialek said. “In the coming weeks, we will all be able to enjoy at least some of the rites of passage that make May such a rewarding month for those lucky enough to work with kids.”

Smialek thanked school staff for their work and said students can look forward to upcoming events like field trips, prom and graduation as the school year comes to a close.

In North Olmsted, 72 percent of voters said no to the district’s proposed levy to cover operating costs. And a levy for expenses and permanent improvements failed in Rocky River with about 54 percent of voters opposed, according to unofficial results.

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