There are 21 local school districts — about a third of those in the Akron-Canton region — asking for new money on the Nov. 6 ballot.
In a survey of the levy seekers, many districts cited the gradual loss of state funding over the past few years, saying their aggressive efforts to cut back are starting to hit bare bone.
Many districts already have instituted pay-to-play for sports and other activities and have cut busing to state minimums.
Most have laid off teachers and administrators, frozen wages and asked employees to make higher health-care contributions.
And almost all say that even with their levy’s approval, those cuts would not be restored.
The area’s largest district, Akron, is back on the ballot with a 7.9-mill request. Voters narrowly rejected a 5.5-mill levy request last fall.
The district this year cut $19 million from its budget, with the biggest savings coming from the elimination of 202 jobs, including 133 teachers. There are no plans to restore any of the cuts, even if the levy were approved, officials have said.
For three local districts, ballot issues are not about treading water but looking toward to the future.
Tallmadge, Canton Local and Marlington have submitted bond issues for new construction.
Canton Local administrators aren’t giving up on hope for a new Canton South High School, even though voters rejected a similar bond request in March.
This is the first time that Tallmadge and Marlington officials are asking voters to buy into their plans for new buildings.
Tallmadge envisions a new elementary school for prekindergarten through fifth grades at the site of the David Bacon school, while Marlington has new elementary, middle and high schools on its drawing board.
For a look at all area school levies on the ballot, see the chart on Page B2.