TPS seeks 6.9 mill levy on November ballotWritten by Morgan Delp | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Officials gathered May 14 to support Toledo Public Schools’ (TPS) 6.9-mill levy. The levy will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot. The resolution for the levy was approved by the Board of Education at an earlier meeting, along with the decision to reinstate some junior high school and freshmen sports programs into the district.
If passed, the permanent levy will cost the owner of a $60,000 home $126.79 per year, or 35 cents per day. The money would fund the district’s current transformation program and balance the budget beyond the 2012-13 school year. While the 2012-13 budget is currently balanced, a failed levy in November would mean drastic cuts the following year.
“Without additional funding at this time, the district will have to cut an excess of $15 million before the beginning of the 2013-14 school year,” Toledo School District Superintendent Jerome Pecko said.
Pecko said that the proposed levy would allow the district to pursue a new district-wide discipline program, a unified student data program for parents and teachers, and employee evaluations based on student performance.
School Board President Lisa Sobecki said the school district’s transformation program cannot be completed without the funding from the levy; its amount was chosen by the finance committee after a variety of millages were studied.
Sobecki said some highlights of the transformation program include the developments of a gifted and talented program for grades 3-6, extracurricular programs for grades 7-12, the continuation of early high school programs for grades 7-8, the implementation of online digital classrooms and electronic grade-books, and of thematic-based high schools.
The School Board’s plan of thematic-based high schools allows each school to concentrate on a specific area. Bowsher would focus on arts and medicine, Woodward on renewable and innovative sources of energy, and Rogers on sports medicine, among others areas of specialization.
University of Toledo President Lloyd Jacobs gave his “unqualified and unequivocal support” for what he believes to be “one of the best investments for the social fabric of our community.”
In addition to Jacobs, city council President Joe McNamara, Representative Fedor, TPS board member Bob Vasquez, Mayor Mike Bell and TAAP President Don Yates spoke at the news conference.
In November 2010, TPS proposed Issue 5, a 7.8-mill levy which voters rejected. That levy, which would have generated roughly $21.6 million, was the second to fail in 2010 as TPS attempted to meet its $40 million deficit.
Issue 5 would have been the highest millage amount passed for Toledo Public Schools in the past four decades, and the first levy passed for TPS since 2001.