MEDINA, Ohio -- Voters in the Buckeye Local School District will have another opportunity to cast a ballot for or against a property tax levy.
They’ve said no to the last twelve and that has Maggie Paolucci, 12, from Medina worried. The last time voters said “yes” was 1994. The seventh grader said she’s concerned her future will be tied to what happens on Tuesday.
"I think it's very stressful because I don't know what I'm gonna be like when I grow up and if I'll be successful, " she said.
Maggie and her 14-year-old brother, Nick, are counting on advanced programs to prepare them for college; those programs are slated to be eliminated if the levy fails.
I'm going to have to switch schools," said Nick.
The levy will cost the owner of a $100,000 home $20.74 a month. The last time voters said yes to any kind of a financial plea was the year 2000 when they passed a bond issue to build an elementary school and make repairs. The law prevented any of that money from being used for salaries or services. The district will be forced to cut $1.3 million from the Buckeye Local School’s budget if the levy fails a 13th time.
"This will be devastating to our school district," said Superintendent Brian Williams.
He told Fox 8’s Lorrie Taylor an aggressive savings plan is ready to be implemented if the levy goes down in defeat. Elementary school students will have a five-hour day with no lunch for those who don’t pay. Recess will also be cut. Older students will have a 5.5 hour day. Art, music and physical education will be eliminated from the elementary schools. Busing at the high school level has already been done away with, so has Home Economics, Industrial Arts and some language programs.
“We’re at the point we don’t have anything left to cut, said Williams.
He’s already put 57 staff members on notice that they will not be coming back in late August or that they will work reduced hours if the levy fails. At that point, the district will be operating at state minimum standards.
"It worries me they won't be ready for a world market," said the children’s mother, Terri Paolucci.
She’s so concerned about the district's future and the affect its finances will have on the community that she joined the committee to help pass the levy.
"I worry about my home value because I have neighbors who say they're going to give their houses away," she said.
It is a domino effect that concerns the entire family.
"We don't have the money to go to a private education,” said 16-year-old Alexa, “So what we get at Buckeye is what we're going to get."