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Clyde-Green Springs faces fiscal emergency

Alissa Widman Neese • May 13, 2013 at 8:18 AM

Tuesday’s fifth-straight failed attempt for new levy funding, however, has left them scrambling for a plan to stabilize finances and avoid fiscal emergency.

“Everything is on the table,” acting superintendent Laura Kagy said Tuesday. “(Board members) don’t have a list, but they’re considering anything and everything. It means cuts.”

Voters Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected a five-year, 5.25-mill emergency operating levy for Clyde-Green Springs Schools in Sandusky and Seneca counties. The levy would have generated $1.1 million a year for the district’s day-to-day expenses. Its budget is about $20 million.

Clyde-Green Springs Schools has been in deficit spending for several years. If the pattern continues without cuts or new levy funding, the district will be in fiscal emergency a year from now, Kagy said. 

State law allows the Ohio Department of Education to take over failing school districts that have been deficit spending and have no financial projections that indicate improvement.

Board members could discuss cuts at their May 20 meeting, but likely won’t take action until June, Kagy said. District treasurer Joyce Dupont will also likely present a new five-year forecast to the board, which could change before the state’s school funding proposal is made official June 30.

“The board is scheduling work sessions to hash through scenarios of what possible reductions could be,” Kagy said. “I can’t tell you what yet, because there’s no way of knowing where we’re going to land right now until the budget is finalized.”

The district has decided not to pursue a new emergency operating levy in August but may place one on the November ballot.

Voters likely shunned the May levy for a variety of reasons, Kagy said.

“Some people commented they aren’t in favor of any new taxes, regardless of the purpose,” she said. “Others said they are but can’t afford it. It all depends on people’s circumstances.”

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