Forest Hills rallies around the school levy

ANDERSON TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - With a pep rally-type atmosphere, the Forest Hills School District kicked off its campaign to push a $3.9 million levy on the March 6 ballot.

Due to a 30 percent reduction in state funding, the district says it needs about $5 million to keep staffing levels where they are. It also needs the money to offset the rising cost of utilities, insurance and diesel fuel.

Since 2009, the district says it has cut $6.6 million in expenses every year.

"We would have to cut about 150 positions, including teachers if this levy does not pass," said Jim Yunker with Citizens for Forest Hills Schools.

The levy asks the owner of a $100,000 home to pay an additional $119 a year in taxes. If the proposal fails, the school district will have to trim its budget by nearly $6.5 million.

"Even with the passage of the levy, the district is still going to have about 1.2 to 1.5 million in cuts," said Yunker.

If that happens, no teachers would lose their jobs in the district's nine schools, which include Turpin and Anderson High.

On the flip side of the issue are those who say they have no real reason to vote in favor of the levy.

"Probably for the simple fact that I no longer have children in school. So I'm sure thinking of other younger kids I probably should but for myself, probably not," said Greg Trigg.

Kids in school or not, supporters say a strong school district benefits everyone.

"Its all about property values and if this school in this community which is known for its value of our schools deteriorates, the value of homes will deteriorate and then people are not going to be able to sell their homes for the prices that they expect," said Yunker.

Copyright 2012 FOX19. All Rights Reserved.