Parents in Willoughby-Eastlake School District concerned over budget cuts following failed tax levy

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EASTLAKE, Ohio (WJW) - Many parents in the Willoughby-Eastlake School District are very concerned with deep cuts to athletics, some academics and other programs brought on by the failure of a school tax levy last Tuesday.

It was standing room only as more than 200 parents packed a large room for a meeting on the failure of Issue 4 at the school board building Sunday night.

They gathered together with Superintendent Steve Thompson to learn more about the cuts that include eliminating all field trips and band trips. The cuts, aimed at saving the district money, also include eliminating all athletics for freshman and for middle school students. Even more cuts include some academic classes like engineering.

School officials said future cuts could include eliminating busing for high school students.

The cuts came immediately after Issue 4, an operating levy, was voted down Tuesday. The levy would cost about $175 on a $100,000 home.

“With all of these programs being cut after Issue 4 failed, for the students going to school the last couple of days it’s been like going to a funeral,” said parent Michael Monreal.

Monreal’s 11th grade twin sons are members of the Willoughby South band.

“There are a lot of great ideas coming forth out of this meeting. We’re talking about possibly going door to door, or sitting down with people in different communities, and at different events,” Monreal said.

The goal of Sunday's meeting was to find solutions and to get voters to pass Issue 4 when it goes back on the ballot in March.

Parents at the meeting said, with voter turnout at 33%, many residents did not show up to vote, adding that many parents with children in the school district didn’t turn out to vote either.

The parents at the meeting said those groups of voters need to support the levy.

“Your community is going to start to be devalued if we can’t help our schools, and thus the value of your home. For most of us the biggest investment we have is our home,” said Superintendent Steve Thompson.

School officials said there’s another meeting with parents this Thursday night at 6 p.m. at the school board building in Eastlake.

Continuing coverage, here.

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