Edison Schools place emergency levy on May ballot

Edison Schools will propose its largest levy option to taxpayers this spring.
Alissa Widman Neese
Feb 2, 2013

School board members agreed Wednesday to place a five-year, 7.9-mill emergency operating levy on the May ballot.

The decision came after a nearly hour-long discussion of four options ranging from 4.9 to 7.9 mills, with board members ultimately concurring the largest option was the only “workable” one.

The levy would generate nearly $1.8 million a year for the district, costing the owner of a $100,000 home about $240 a year.

“Every person I’ve contacted has told me to ask for what we need — we need to go beyond just getting through one year,” board member Jodi Harris said. “It’s not fair to our community or our students.”

The district is projected to run a deficit of nearly $75,000 in the 2013-2014 school year and more than $2.5 million in 2014-2015, according to its five-year forecast. Its budget is about $14 million.

If voters approve the May levy, however, the district could see a surplus of about $894,000 in the 2013-2014 school year and about $209,000 in 2014-2015. The district would still face a deficit of more than $1 million by 2016.

“We’re asking for a bare minimum 7.9 mills — I know it doesn’t sound right,” board member Mark Miller said.

If approved, board members said the funds could possibly eliminate pay-to-play athletic fees and pay for additional elementary school teachers.

“Instead of focusing on cuts for the next couple of years we could focus on students again,” board member Mark Suhanic said. “It’s up to the community to take care of us. We can’t wait for the state to do it any longer.”

About 20 people attended Wednesday’s meeting.

Matt McClester, a Berlin Heights resident and district parent, opened the meeting’s discussion speaking in favor of a 4.9-mill or 5.9-mill levy option. He still remains a
levy advocate after the board’s decision.

“I’ll support any option, but many people I’ve talked to said the best way to get it passed is a smaller levy,” McClester said. “But if 7.9 mills is what’s needed, they’re really in a catch-22.”

The district hasn’t approved an emergency operating levy since May 2005, treasurer Anne Arnold said. Voters most recently rejected a 3.5-mill option in November.

Levy Proposal
Millage: 7.9
Length: Five years
Would generate: $1.8 million a year
Cost: Annual cost to owner of $100,000 home would be about $240
Use: Would pay for day-to-day expenses, including salaries and benefits for employees, utilities, classroom supplies, maintenance of property and buildings, among other services
Note: All figures rounded
Source: Edison Schools


John Harville

Buckeye Institute is Josh Mandel's page - and as inaccurate as possible. For example: my spouse's salaray is listed as a current figure. Problem: my spouse retired five years ago.

Swamp Fox

John Harville, get your facts straight, Buckeye Institute is not "Josh Mandels" page or has anything to do with the State Treasurer's Office, it is an non profit conservative research group that use public records as their source


Try this salary page too. Search your district "Order by" high to low.


And just how much are you paying into your retirement in the fall? What a joke. The taxpayers are tapped out.

Get Facts Straight

10% which is required by law. Happy?


How about you ask the group of 7th grade moms what to do? They seem to have control.


Are some of those the same moms that have children in 9th grade? Just wondering.


you obviously have a 7th grader and your not in the click. please tell


GEt Facts Straight--you need to quit lying. "Teachers will be paying retirement completely. It's in the new contract." THe state will be contributing at least 12.5% -- The teachers are only giving up the local share of around 9.5%. For someone called Get Facts Straight you did a pretty rotten job of it.

John Harville

jac... the STATE sets the rates. The local district negotiates how much of the local portion the employees will pay. Get the facts.

Swamp Fox

John Harville, you forgot to mention that for years ONLY Edison & EHOVE payed any portion of the teachers share.

Get Facts Straight

It was negotiated in lieu of pay raises to be that way. Now it is changed and teachers are now paying 10% as required by the state.

John Harville

$1.1 billion is the low-end estimate of levies in the state this spring - trying to make up the shortfall from 2011's major cuts and 'reorganization' by our illustrious governor. Meanwhile, millions-plus in PUBLIC tax dollars will be going to PRIVATE for-profit schools operated by the Governor's cronies.

West 99

John Harville

http://buckeyeinstitute.org/teac... is what the schools report as their salaries to the State- are you saying the school accounting is reporting fraudulent info.


Lets see here. The voters defeated a 3.5 mill in November 2012. So the Board will place a 7.9 mill levy on in Spring 2013. Yeah,,,,now that makes real smart sense.

Its like saying store X sells toothpaste for $4 a tube and every other store in town sells it for $3. So to increase sales they raise the price of the already $4 a tube toothpaste to $7 and they think more people will now buy it because they have raised the price of already overpriced toothpaste. These Board members need to stop by the high school and take a marketing class.

Now Board member Jodi Harris says every person she talked to told her to ask for what they need................Boy now there is a really dangerous statement !!!!!! My questions would be:

Who did Jodi Harris talk to? NAME THEM....to me everybody is really NOBODY. For all we know she could have talked to a class of pre schoolers with no idea of money or taxes etc.

How many did she talk to? GIVE US A NUMBER NOT JUST EVERY PERSON

AND lastly I find it really doubtful that any competent taxpayer would tell any school board member ,,,,,TO ASK FOR WHAT YOU NEED. Now that is just one assurd statement....why Harris and her fellow Board members could ask for 10, 15, 20, 25, 40 + mills and that is OK with the taxpayers she talked with? Right there that statement tells me we are getting a first class PR job done on us.


jodi is a awesome person. she is an aquantince of mine but i have to agree. she only talks to people in the click, not that she wouldnt listen to everyone but the truth is the board takes care of school employees first. she is in a tough place. dont take these comments personal jodi. it is your position not your character. i wouldnt want your job for any amount of money


You may well be correct. If that is so then lets not say everyone I talked with said ask for whatever you need lets say everyone I talked to in the "click" said ask for whatever you need.

If Jodi is an awesome person and I bet she is to ever take a non paying job like school board member BUT Jodi get out and talk to a wider range of folks than just those in the "click." Then alas you will be closer to "everyone" said this or that. Based on past elections the majority of people in the school district are opposed to the levy so it should not be hard finding those who will vote NO.

Swamp Fox

John Harville, get your facts straight, Buckeye Institute is not "Josh Mandels" page or has anything to do with the State Treasurer's Office, it is an non profit conservative research group that use public records as their source.

Isn't it ironic that the board finally pushed for the teachers to pay for their retirement after one of the board members wife retired from the Edison School System and had her retirement picked up by the board while she was working.


I woulld not believe any webpage that Josh Mandel is connected with. We saw the lies and misinformation this guy put our in his Senate campaign. I al looking for him any day to announce what new political job he is running for. Thank him for his military service but I do hope he gets settled and actually does a job he is elected to.

Swamp Fox

Gardenman says "I do hope he gets settled and actually does a job he is elected to. " You mean like the guy who ran, got elected to the U.S. Senate and in his first two years did nothing but campaign for the presidency?


Yeah, you are right Obama probably did spend his first two years campaigning for the presidency. BUT that man got elected to President and just n case you have not heard was reelected to the job as well. As I remember the figures Mandel did pretty poor in his running for the US Senate. Even many Republicans could not stomach Mandel......not he was a Republican its because he did not have the ability, experience, or knowledge to be a US Senator.

As was rightfully said by Sen Brown in a debate....running for US Senate is not a game it's serious business. Mandel was treating it like a game and was "well lets see what job I can elected to now." Thankfully, the voters saw him for what he was and denied him the Sesnate seat.

Swamp Fox

gardenman, yea that's the bad news , Obama did get elected while he was AOL from the Senate. His recent re election will signal increased federal regulations that will cost local schools like Edison additional unfunded mandates......

HS Sports Fan

Stop the Clique. It's like poison to your school system. Their like the Berlin-Milan Mafia.

Edwin Ison

On the retirement pick-up....smoke and mirrors.

Get Facts Straight, Why, with the retirement pickup now paid by the teachers, the savings per year is only about $170,000(and Roth says most of the savings is from health care concessions) instead of the $550,000 figure quoted by Roth? This is a difference of nearly $800,000 over the two year contract.

Also, when asked how much the district pays for the retirement pickup, Roth was again not forthcoming with real figures. The $800,000+ figure stated by me and others as the district staff retirement portion picked up by the taxpayer is accurate, you must include all employees though. Roth purposely excluded employees other than teaching staff so as to be able to refute the numbers.
GFS Could you get copies of the current and previous contracts, these are just facts:) and post them up for everyone to see. 'Cause the numbers just don't add up for me, and that is a big problem for many voters.
"Come on man!"
GFS...I would love to vote for a levy....but the shenanigans and misdirection must stop. NOW! If they want my money, stop with the games.


Not in the click? That sounds like them. Moms with nothing else to do but manage every minute of their princesses lives. I heard one of them (starts with a P as in pea or petition no one cares about or pitiful) isn't even allowed in the school anymore because she harassed kids. Don't know if there are freshmen.


Edwin Ison...you are asking the right question, and I have the answer. Think about it. The retirement pick-up is not in the new contract, and the district has said it cost $880,000. Yet, the savings is only $170,000, INCLUDING health care savings!!!! How is this possible? The answer is simple. READ THE NEW CONTRACT. The teachers got a double digit RAISE to cover their (own) added retirement costs!!! Yup, a RAISE...a BIG one. And yet, no where in the district press releases is this infomation provided. More than smoke and mirrors, this is outright dishonesty. Yea...taxpayers are stupid...give them LOTS more money....


Where can I find the contract to read it? If this is indeed true about the raises, then my vote just went back to "No."


look up www.opportunityohio.org Shows all salaries of entire school district. To me they are all high, but there are a few that are offensive. Example an elementary phys-ed teacher making $81000/year which equals $56/hour, plus the best benefits offered at any employer. At some point the house of cards is going to come tumbling down.


for 185 days a year :-/


Their house of cards needs to fall NOW! Edison teachers and staff think it is our duty and obligation to give them this cushy lifestyle. I'm done. Nothing they could say would change my mind. They did'nt think the taxpayer would catch on to their scheme, but we got the facts and we did. Their union is out of control and we will pay no more. So all you Edison staff out there be ready for a big fat NO!