Voters in the Nordonia Hills and Tallmadge school districts approved two school levies that officials have said are needed to prevent deeper budget cuts.

Voters also approved renewal levies in the Green and Twinsburg school districts.

Nordonia Hills

With all 32 precincts reporting, Nordonia Hills voters approved Issue 3, a 6.98-mill operating levy, 59% to 41%, according to unofficial results from the Summit County Board of Elections.

The continuing levy will generate an estimated $7 million for the schools and cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $240 per year. A previous 6.98-mill continuing operating levy failed in November.

“I am thrilled for Nordonia kids. The kids won tonight, and I think that this will be an election, especially in Nordonia, this will be an election that 20 years from now, people will look back and say this is the day that changed Nordonia forever," Superintendent Joe Clark said, adding that collaboration among the district's five communities helped pass the levy.

The school board previously approved reductions to save about $1.6 million for the 2019-20 school year, including eliminating 38 jobs districtwide, representing about 8 percent of the district’s workforce, and eliminating busing for more than 2,300 students.

With the levy's passage, busing will remain at its current levels, and Clark said he's hopeful all employees will get their jobs back, although he said school officials will determine what the district will do in the coming days and weeks.

Nordonia Hills’ last new operating levy passed in 2011.

Clark said three people complained to him of running into trouble with poll workers when they went to vote for Issue 3 on Tuesday, including poll workers who initially told two women wearing Nordonia school shirts they weren't allowed to vote because of their shirts. The women ultimately were permitted to vote. Clark said he also heard about a poll worker asking a voter if he knew how much Issue 3 was going to cost.

“I was very disappointed … If people choose to vote no, I absolutely respect their right to vote," he said. "What I expect though is a fair election."

NORDONIA KIDS WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you voters!!!!!! Go Knights!!

— Joe Clark (@DrJoeClark)May 8, 2019

Tallmadge

After the same levy failed last November, Tallmadge voters on Tuesday approved Issue 4, a five-year, 7.4-mill levy, 57% to 43%, with all 17 precincts reporting, according to unofficial results from the Summit County Board of Elections.

It will raise $3.1 million a year, with the money going toward current expenses, and will cost the owner of a $100,000 home an extra $259 a year.

“I think the students at Tallmadge obviously are gonna benefit from this. We’re gonna be good stewards of your money. That’s a commitment of ours. And we’re gonna do great things for kids," said Superintendent Jeff Ferguson, adding the district did a better job of listening to voters in the months leading up to the election and explaining why the levy was necessary.

“This was really at a breaking point for our kids, so this was just huge," Ferguson said.

The Tallmadge school board in March approved a $1.7 million spending-reduction plan that included cutting busing for 60 percent of students, eliminating 15.5 positions districtwide and raising pay-to-participate fees for sports and other activities.

With the levy’s passage, busing and pay-to-participate fees will remain at current levels. Some of the staffing cuts will remain in place for the 2019-20 school year, but Ferguson said he's hopeful some will be able to be reinstated by the start of the school year and the rest at the start of the 2020-21 school year.

According to information provided by the school district, along with issues with the way the state funds schools, one of the most significant reasons the levy was needed is because the district lost $2.5 million in state revenue annually after the state began phasing out the tangible personal property tax, a tax levied on businesses, in 2004. The school district won't receive any of that tax revenue in 2019.

Tallmadge's last new operating levy, a 10-year, 6.9-mill levy, passed in 2009.

Several other Summit County school districts had school levy renewals on Tuesday’s ballot, including Twinsburg (passed), Green (passed), Aurora (includes portions of Reminderville) and Jackson (includes portions of Green). For results on those races, visit ohio.com.

We want the Tallmadge community to know we will be good stewards of thier money and we are going to do great things for our students!pic.twitter.com/fF2OZ5UZ10

— Jeff Ferguson (@Tcsferguson)May 8, 2019

Beacon Journal reporter Amanda Garrett and Gatehouse Media Ohio reporter April Helms contributed to this article. Contact Emily Mills at 330-996-3334, emills@thebeaconjournal.com and @EmilyMills818.