Published Sat, Feb 18, 2012 6:37 am Dateline
The Cambridge City School District is on the ballot again with a tax issue.
Superintendent Dennis Dettra says the 12.78 mills proposal is virtually identical to the one voters turned down in November.
"We, in Cambridge City Schools, have cut pur budget drastically over the last six years. Due to cuts in state funding this year, we are looking at a $1.2 million deficit next school year. We actually have reduced our staff by 37 employees in the last five years and reduced our payroll by $1.3 million in the last five years. But, right now, we are looking for additional funds. This levy seems like a lot, it's over 12 millis, but actually it's a renewal of an emergency levy for six mills and an additional levy of six mills," says Dettra.
The existing levy of approximately six mills is due to expire at the end of the year.
The March 6 election levy is for "emergency requirements" and would generate almost $3 million a year.
Last time, the Cambridge levy lost by about 400 votes.
Dettra is hopeful those voters can be convinced to change their minds.
"That's what we're hoping for and get the message out that we have been very frugal with the district's money. We have made a lot of reductions here in the district," says Dettra. "We have made some drastic cuts already in the district and any further cuts are going to directly affect our students."
Superintendent Dettra says the Board of Education will be faced with some tough choices if the levy is voted down.
"It's going to impact our classrooms. It's gonna create, cause we're gonna have to do more reductions in force, which is going to increase class size. We're going to have to look at what programs we're offering that are not required by the state for graduation. We're going to look at high school busing. We're going to have to look at a lot of issues now that are going to directly affect our students," says Dettra.