Pickets Push Issue 43 in North Ridgeville

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NORTH RIDGEVILLE, Ohio -- Voters will see dozens of school issues on the ballot Tuesday, including an additional emergency levy for the North Ridgeville Schools.

The district is asking homeowners to pay more to avoid providing less for the students.

Students, staff and parents took to the streets of North Ridgeville Saturday with one goal in mind: to encourage voters to pass the school levy. Issue 43 is a 5.9-mill, additional tax measure.

North Ridgeville Schools assistant Supt. Jim Powell said the district has already made major cuts in staff and programs that have increased class size, but needs more money to balance the school budget.

"This year, we reduced a teacher in each grade level K-5," said Powell. "We’ve had to do pay to play."

Powell said if the levy fails, additional cuts would be made. The district would be reduced to a five-hour school day, meaning co-curriculars like art, music and physical education would be eliminated.

Extracurriculars, including sports, would be cut.

Junior Gorden Goodman said North Ridgeville student athletes are doing well this year.

"We are contenders in most of our sports. So, it would be a shame to have to cut those," he said.

Emily Fischbach is interested in art and wonders what would happen if the levy fails.

“And, for all of our electives that I am going to need to graduate next year. If the levy doesn't pass, I won't have those electives," Fischbach said.

A “yes” vote means a taxpayer would pay an additional $180 per year on every $100,000 value on their home.

David Dawson said he has already voted for the levy.

“I don’t think a small tax increase is going to make much difference. And, it is a good cause," he said.

But, Lisa Brown figures if the levy passes, it would cost her about $20 more a month and said money is tight right now.

"Definitely voting it down. I don’t think more money is actually going to help. I know schools are crowded, but more money is not the way to improve education," Brown said.

This is the fourth time voters are seeing the North Ridgeville school levy on the ballot. It has been defeated three times before.

The district said it is for emergency requirements. Voters will decide the schools' fate Tuesday.