Parma City School District board meeting held to weigh cuts after levy failure

PARMA, Ohio - The Parma City School District Board of Education held a meeting Wednesday night to weigh major cuts after voters rejected the district's 7.4 mill operating levy.

Issue 5 failed by about 7 percent in Tuesday's election, with 11,790 people voting against it compared with 10,294 for the levy, according to preliminary results.

The district must submit a fiscal recovery plan to the state by May 15th outlining $9.3 million in cuts over the next two years. It faces about a $4 million deficit in 2019.

Potential cuts listed in a draft proposal from an April work sessions listed as many as 67 staff positions that could be cut, including teachers and support staff.

The draft also lists reductions in high school elective course offerings and fully-funded athletics and the elimination of learning labs and media centers as possible changes.

The vote marks the second time in as many years a school levy has failed in the district, which has been under fiscal caution since 2016. A procedural error kept the district from placing a levy on the ballot in November, but the board may consider placing a new levy on the ballot this fall.

In a statement released Wednesday, the district said the fiscal recovery plan "will include reductions that will have a negative impact for our students and staff. The Board and Administration did work to minimize the educational impact in the classroom as much as possible with this latest plan."

The statement said the district will begin engaging in a Facilities Master Planning process, which will detail the future of district buildings moving forward.