West Clermont Schools to place operating levy on May ballot

BATAVIA, OH (FOX19) - The West Clermont Board of Education has placed a 10-year, 7.9 mill emergency operating levy on the May ballot.

The proposed levy will generate $10.9 million in new operating money and cost the owner of a $100,000 home an additional $242 a year, or about $20 a month.

The district will cut $2.4 million from the 2011-12 budget. Those cuts will include the elimination of 35 positions, including 22 teachers, and a $500,000 reduction in building budgets.

These cuts are in addition to the $45 million in personnel and services the district has cut since 2005. District officials say West Clermont has cut 170 positions in the past six years.

At the Feb. 28 Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Gary Brooks announced $5 million in additional cuts - including 80 classroom teachers - that will be implemented if the May 3 emergency levy does not pass.

The district will also cut high school bussing, other non-mandated bussing, K-5 art and music, grades 6-12 orchestra, the gifted and talented program, eliminate evening and weekend activities in elementary and middle school buildings and implement a 'pay to play' program for high school sports, marching band and extra-curricular activities.

"Failure to secure operating money from district residents in 2011 will force the district into Fiscal Emergency and takeover by the State of Ohio," said Brooks. "District decisions will be taken out of the hands of local residents and controlled by Columbus bureaucrats."

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