Alexander School District Hopes to Pass Levy in May Primary

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Alexander Schools is trying once again to pass a school levy.

The one-percent income tax would continue for a five-year period, starting January 1, 2019. If approved by voters, the funds would fill the gap between the cost of running the school system and funding from the state and federal governments. This will be the district’s fourth attempt to pass an operating levy; the past three each failed.

Funding Needed

The Alexander School District is hoping voters approve its first operating levy in 27 years.

Fred Davis, President of the Alexander Local Board of Education, said the school district has been flat funded by the state of Ohio for the past eight to ten years, meaning they have not received additional funding in each of those years.

“Part of the reason for that is by the state school funding formula, Alexander’s compared to districts of approximately the same size and same demographics statewide, and the state says we are not paying our fair share toward educating our students in the Alexander school system,” he said. “Basically, we’ll get no new money until we start to pick up what they perceive as our fair share.”

If the levy does not pass, Davis said the school district will need to cut its already frugal budget. In the past, the schools have saved money through an energy conservation project and reducing staff by attrition.

“Now we’ve almost reached a point where cutting is drastically going to affect the education of our students, and drastically affect the community,” he said. “We’ve clipped around the edges, where we try to keep from affecting our educational system as much as we can, but we’re down to a point where we’re almost going to face a million dollar shortfall here in another year and a half or two. And when we do that, then that means drastic cuts in staff.”

Alexander Schools last passed a levy for additional operating funds in 1991.

Community Concern

Albany area resident Victoria LaPoe, who has a five-year-old entering the Alexander school system next school year, is in favor of the levy. If the levy fails, she said she is able to supplement her son’s education.

“If I have to donate supplies, I’ll donate supplies, but again I don’t think that burden should fall on the parents, or the teachers,” she said. “But honestly, with all the teacher strikes and everything going on, I’m more concerned with the burden put on teachers than the burden put on me.”

Residents will be able to vote on the levy on May 8, 2018.