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Cuts planned by Ohio schools with new levy losses

By John Published: May 4, 2011

Associated Press

CLEVELAND: Ohio school districts with fresh losses on tax questions are preparing to eliminate jobs and programs to make up for revenue voters wouldn't provide.

Tuesday's voting was the first big test of voter sentiment as Ohio considers Ohio Gov. John Kasich's proposed $6.4 billion in education aid the first year and $6.5 billion the second, up 2 percent, then 1 percent.

Associations representing school boards and district treasurers estimate the plan would cut overall funding by $3.1 billion over two years due to the loss of federal stimulus dollars and tax policy changes.

School issues defeated on Tuesday include a tax that would have generated $16.7 million a year for the Hilliard schools near Columbus.

The Columbus Dispatch reports the district will cut more than 50 jobs and drop middle school sports and fifth-grade music.

In the Cleveland area, six of eight school tax measures in Cuyahoga County were defeated. Two financially hard-hit districts fared differently — voters approved a tax increase in Parma after seven straight defeats and a tax increase was rejected in Euclid.

Parma, where the tax was approved by 50.2 percent, recently announced plans to close four elementary schools. The tax hike will cost the owner of a $100,000 home 16 percent more, up from $1,300 to $1,512 annually.

Voters in Euclid, which has cut 36 teaching jobs in the past year, voted by 64 percent to reject a tax increase. The district had said earlier it would cut an additional 12 teacher jobs, whether or not the tax was approved.

The superintendent of the West Clermont schools told The Cincinnati Enquirer it's likely his district will respond to its loss on Tuesday by slashing 80 more positions, after recently cutting 50.

Also in Southwest Ohio, voters rejected a tax increase for the Little Miami schools for the eighth time in three years. The struggling district has been under state control since last year.

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