Falls school levy does not pass
By BONNIE L. HAZEN
NEWTON FALLS – The Newton Falls School District said it will appeal to voters on the November ballot after its emergency operating levy failed to pass.
“It’s disappointing. We haven’t had any new money in 22 years in Newton Falls, and we are currently operating in deficit spending,” Superintendent Paul Woodard said. “We will reassess our situation, and I’m sure it will be back on the ballot in November.”
The 6.3-mill levy would have generated $774,000 each year for five years. Results tallied late Tuesday showed 38 percent for and 62 percent against, according to incomplete, unofficial results. There are provisional and some mail-in ballots yet to be counted.
Woodard said even if the levy had passed, the district was still looking at $500,000 in additional cuts, citing a $1.2 million loss in state and federal funding.
The district made $600,000 in cuts last school year, including middle school general music; technology positions; building substitutes; high school / junior high physical education; the French program; and replacing the junior high principal with an assistant principal.
Further action proposed includes numerous position cuts, including high school tutor, educational aides, transportation secretary, teachers, basketball and football assistants, assistant bus mechanic, library aide, Ski Club adviser, custodian, building substitutes and Prep Bowl adviser.
Other proposed cuts include the elementary and middle school art shows and extended days for band and guidance. The loss of seven teaching positions also would result in larger class sizes.
“We don’t have a lot of excess trimming that we can take care of there, so we are going to have to go back to the voters and explain it better if we can, and see what happens. We’re going to have to do something to get the voters to help us out here,” he said.