Superintendent: levy fail ‘heartbreaking’


By Anna Bolton - adewine@civitasmedia.com



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BEAVERCREEK — Beavercreek City School District voters narrowly turned down a 6 mill, $10.4 million substitute emergency levy May 2.

With a total of 49 precincts reporting around 10 p.m., the levy failed by 32 votes, or 50.41 percent to 49.59 percent, according to the unofficial totals from the Greene County Board of Elections.

“We fell short,” Superintendent Paul Otten said. “It’s heartbreaking for the district.”

Dollars that would have been generated from the levy were supposed to cover day-to-day costs including bus fuel, classroom supplies, technology and personnel. This makes up approximately 13 percent of the district’s operating costs.

“We’ll go in tomorrow and continue to provide world-class education and continue to be good stewards of our tax payers’ dollars,” Otten continued.

If the levy had passed, taxpayers would have continued to pay the same amount — an estimated $210 per year per $100,000 property value — as they have been. The new levy would not have increased taxes.

“We saw this levy as an opportunity to really do something good for the district and great for the community. It would protect our home owners and would not obligate them to pay more than what they had already approved in the past,” Otten said.

The levy was placed on the ballot to substitute the emergency levy originally passed in November 2014, which is currently set to expire in December 2018. The new levy would have been permanent for a continuing period of time, which means it would not have required renewal. Revenue collection would have begun in January 2019.

According to Otten, school district officials will work with the Board of Education to determine the next steps. And frankly, the issue will have to be on the ballot again.

“This is such a large amount of money — we have to go back to the voters again,” Otten said. “The failure of the levy will ultimately dismantle this district and cut significant services.”

According to Beavercreek Schools Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer Penny Rucker, $10.4 million worth of reductions in the district — which has a general funds budget of $100 million — would change everything: services, transportation, teachers, programming and even the number of students per class.

“The sooner we can go back to our voters, the better for the school district and the community,” Otten said.

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By Anna Bolton

adewine@civitasmedia.com

Reach Anna Bolton at 937-502-4498.

Reach Anna Bolton at 937-502-4498.

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