School officials in the Switzerland of Ohio district are asking voters to say 'yes' to an emergency operations levy on election day.
It's a $7.72 million levy that would yield $3 million a year for five years. The district's last three levies have failed, and school officials say they are down to bare bones education - no music, art, phys ed, home economics, industrial arts, or talented and gifted classes. They also say the parents of 183 children have taken them out of the school system because it doesn't offer a well-rounded education.
John Hall, Superintendent, said," In order to improve student achievement, we need to hire teachers. Our students are really not getting a full well-rounded education right now because of the massive cuts that happened prior to me entering the district."
School treasurer Lance Erlwein continued, "We know that there is oil and gas opportunities for us five to six years out the road. What we don't know is how much, or when that revenue will be put onto our tax rolls and so the five-year levy was designed to bridge that gap and at the end of the five years, the taxpayers and the board can re-evaluate our situation."
Officials say their school district is unique in its size - nine schools, 542 square miles, encompassing three counties, and with 2,3000 students. The district has three high schools - Monroe Central, Beallsville and River. They say they haven't had an operating levy since 1995, and they need it desperately.