Hubbard schools seek passage of 7.1 mill levy

HUBBARD – For the first time in 15 years, the Hubbard Exempted Village School District is asking the community for new money to continue current programs and student services, according to the district superintendent.

District voters recently supported a bond issue to construct new schools and renewal levies, Superintendent Ray Soloman said.

The 7.1-mill, 10-year emergency operating levy on the Nov. 8 ballot would generate $1.4 million annually, which is the same amount district officials say the district lost in state funding since 2009, he said.

The district has been good stewards of taxpayer dollars, carefully considering options and making cost-saving measures before reaching to the community for more funding, he said.

Ben Kyle, a levy committee member, said levy money would continue daily operation of the three district buildings and retain current courses, programs and services.

He noted the district, which has between 2,000 and 2,100 children in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, provides an average class size ratio of one teacher to 25 students.

Soloman said if the levy does not pass, administrators and board of education members will look at where cuts will need to be made, including possibly busing, athletic programs, college credit courses at the high school and extracurricular programs.

He said the district already cut 23 staff members since 2010 through attrition. Those cuts were five certified staff, administrators and a librarian, and 18 classified staff.

The district also shares a technology technician with McDonald Local Schools. Officials noted contracts were negotiated for phone, IT and other vendor services to keep costs as low as possible.

School Treasurer Amber Babik said the district chose to go with a 10-year levy to help the district to stay in the black with finances. She said the district for nearly 16 years has worked within its budgets.

Soloman said the levy wouldcover costs for textbooks, equipment and technology utilized by students.

Chris Colella, a levy committee member, said Hubbard is the fourth-largest school district in Trumbull County and has the second-largest elementary school.

”This levy will help us to continue to provide a ”strong excellent school district and to offer all we can for the students,” he said.

Kyle said many people want to live in Hubbard, noting the school is ”the backbone of the community,” with 65 percent of the Hubbard school employees living in the city or township and paying local taxes to the school district.

bcoupland@tribtoday.com