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APS to try for 5.9 mill levy in March

By John Published: December 5, 2011

The Akron school board this morning authorized the district to put a 5.9 mill levy on the March ballot. The request is slightly higher than the levy that narrowly failed in November, but it would collect the same amount, about $14 million a year.

The initial request was based on an estimate that one mill of property tax valuation would collect $2.56 million. Turns out the official valuation, which wasn't available when the district got on the November ballot, is $2.44 million per mill.

But even with passage, the district must come up with $22 million in cuts for next year. Superintendent David James told the board that about $14 million of that will have to come out of wages and benefits, which means 224 jobs could be eliminated.

Too soon to say whether that will the result of building closures. Some of the reudctions could be offset by retirement decisions, too.

The district needs to submit a plan by Dec. 30 to the state or risk slipping into fiscal caution. The next step would be fiscal emergency and possible state oversight.

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