ELYRIA - School officials are hoping that residents will continue to support the district by renewing a nearly 20-year-old operating levy at the polls Nov. 6.
Superintendent Tom Jama said Issue 6, a five-year, 4.95-mill operating levy, is "huge to the district and community" and vital to its success.
It raises $3.6 million annually for the schools, supporting programs for students in preschool through post-secondary, college-level classes at Elyria High School, he said.
Times are exciting in the schools, Jama said - enrollment is up, the new Mercy Health Field at Ely Stadium has been constructed and five new schools are planned in the district.
What it is: 4.95-mill operating levy renewal
Duration: Five years
How much would it raise: $3.6 million
Purpose: Operating expenses (buses, salaries, books, utility bills and other items)
Cost to homeowner: The owner of a $100,000 home will pay $129.89 annually.
The money "keeps programming in place and meets the needs of all kids," Jama said.
The levy will not increase taxes, and costs the owner of a $100,000 home $129 per year, or slightly more than $10 per month, Treasurer Joy Clickenger said.
Not a new tax, the levy is "just a continuation" of a levy first approved in 1999, she said.
She added that the effective millage is only 4.2 mills due to property value increases in the last two decades. Effective millage means that as property values increase, the millage decreases so the same amount of money is generated every year.
Jama said the district is fortunate to not require student-athletes to "pay-to-play" as "all participate without additional money or a cost to parents and families," he said.
Other items the levy provides for are salaries, technology, classroom supplies, busing and utility payments, schools spokeswoman Amy Higgins said.
"This is the day-to-day bread and butter" of school finances, she said.
The money will not be commingled with construction funds from the 2007 bond issue that helped build the new high school, she said. The issue also is "not the Issue 6 of several years ago," which was a city issue for a new tax, Higgins said.
Without the money, the schools would have to reduce programming and staff, which "hurts the kids," Jama said.