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



People's frustration seem to be on all levels. If you're one to complain about freshman playing a Varsity sport, somehow you're being effected by it. I don't even live in the district but through coaching, know the kids and let me be the first to say, Shayne Fischer would not play favorites. Edison's talent is lacking as of late, some decide to build for the future and get the young guys experience. (EVERYONE should play though). As far as those shooting down the levy, yes it's a decent chunk of money but there are some things to consider. How many of you would be effected by the pay to participate? Having multiple kids in multiple sports would be a heck of a lot more than the tax increase on property. For those of you not effected by pay to participate, if Edison were to close it's doors and the district to be divided (as it has been explained to me by admin) will the other school districts be picking up your kids who are that much further away? Or will you have to adjust your lifestyle to carpool your kids to a new school? Some of you just seem bitter towards the teachers, maybe you should have picked a different career path? Last note, did someone hoenstly complain about a teacher bringing their children into a game for free??? To say that you would not do the same if you were in that position would be silly.


There may be a few bloggers on here with different gripes towards the school district. Bottom line is ... the economy and the high rate of our taxes. We pay and pay and they want more. You did not ask about the portion of taxpayers out there that have no children in the school system. Some retired, some laid off and some just struggling to keeps their heads above water. Everyone is making concessions at their home and place of employment except for the staff at Edison. They will not be happy till they bleed us dry.Everytime they don't get their way they threaten the kids or wear stupid buttons and shirts to every event they can. They need to grow up and face the same problem alot of people are facing..CUTBACKS.
Enough is Enough and now they get a pay raise to pay for something they should of been paying for all along. Their retirement should not be my concern or any other taxpayers for that matter. We all pay into ours and they should do the same.


I agree with what you are saying in that everyone, teachers included, do need to make cutbacks. No questions there. As far as those that have no children in the school system, how would the value of their property be effected if there was not a school district? Who would want to live in a place where the closest school district is a longer than expected drive? I'm just thinking of scenarios.


To answer your question on the value of our property.. Maybe our taxes would go down. 3/4 of our taxes goes to the school. We are all just saying enough. Its time for Victor to get his truck out!


You wrote, "Some of you just seem bitter towards the teachers, maybe you should have picked a different career path?"
What in the world does this have to do with the career path of others? Unless you are implying that once a person receives a teaching degree it makes them immune from the economy and entitles them to a lifetime of continued raises and benefits? Is that what the kids in the teaching programs across the country are being told? If it is, that's a problem. If it's not happening, then why do teachers feel they are immune to the real world simply because of a career path?


Well said CrissySnow


I'm simply saying most understand the retirement structure set up for educators, that's all. Nothing else implied towards anyone or bringing anyone down.

Swamp Fox

You're right, Edwin, the information doesn't add up correctly. From what I have heard, they are not paying their entire share of the retirement although the school webpage seems to indicate this. I also don't understand the information about spouses of teachers being required to purchase single health insurance rather than being on the teacher's family plan. (Do teachers who opt to go on their spouses' family plans still get a $2,000 payment in lieu of the school providing insurance?) And, yes, retirement is paid on salary for supplemental contracts such as coaching and activities. Since the information posted is not very clear, it's probably best to request a copy of the contract in order to get the facts straight.

Edwin Ison

The district should supply the old and new contracts for review on the district webpage.
They are trying to hide the contents and want to keep tabs on who requests information.
I have children in the system and it's not good to get on a blacklist.

HS Sports Fan

Perkins will take your best athletes if you close. They are getting ready to build a New School, Sports Arena, Casino and Hotel right next to the New Football field and don't even need to pass a levy. The point guard and the two sixth graders I seen on your varsity will most likely have to wait their turns though.

Unconventional ...

I have seen the favoritism in the Perkins athletic department also, and I have seen worse things happen than that. Also, if what you mentioned above is true, I would not want my children going to a school that was next to a Hotel & Casino...

Unconventional ...

"Perkins Schools will propose two levies for the May ballot: A five-year renewal of a 2-mill permanent improvement levy and a 10-year, 4.98-mill emergency operating levy."


There are 1655 students in the district. If the budget is 14 million, then that equates to about $8400 per student.

The "Emergency Levy" will pull that number up to more than $9500 per student.

As our schools have to spend so much time teaching how to duck bullets and don birth control, rather than teaching viable skills, I guess it's cheaper than a babysitter . . . .

tell it how it is

Edison school district HAS changed it's spending, a lot. Anyone who tries to say otherwise is nothing but ignorant and uninformed. The kids and parents have majorly been impacted on the school's loss of money, as they are now having to pay more, whether it be in gas or pay to play, ect.
The school needs to pass this levy, or it's actually hurting our economy more, person-by-person.


Tell it how it is: Interesting that you point out how the parents and kids have already been majorly impacted, and that this levy needs to pass and NO WHERE did you state that the STAFF NEEDS TO MAKE SOME CONCESSIONS?

Yes- I know you will reply with, they are picking up their own retirement in the fall, BUT I also heard that came with a nice RAISE TO OFF SET the retirement pick up TOO... So when all the smoke clears, they really weren't impacted, just a shift in allocation if you will.

Don't bother trying to argue the point, we were all at the meeting when it was announced that $880k was the amount being paid into retirement funds, and we all heard the savings in the fall will only be $100k and some change.... WE ALL GET IT..... What adds up is the "RAISES" in the fall, eat up the savings in the retirement....

Can the powers that be JUST BE HONEST for once????

tell it how it is

Well, you didn't see that because I don't agree with it. I went to Edison for 14 years, never anywhere else, and I personally believe that the staff need to get MORE. Those are some amazing teachers who have produced amazing scores for the district. It IS the best school around our area, and yet people don't think they deserve the payment they get?

However, I can tell you from seeing first hand that these teachers HAVE made concessions. Some of the very best teachers were laid off in the four years I was there for high school, the schools have been constantly rearranged for the most economic set-up, None of the teachers make enough money. I am personally friends with several of them, and I can tell you that their families are suffering just as much as the average American's is, many even worse. You, and everyone else, can THINK whatever you please, but until you actually speak with one of the teachers that are hardly making it by, you have NO right to say a word about their pay. How would you feel if so many people were attacking YOUR pay when you're doing a damn good job? You'd probably be pretty pissed, huh? I know I would! So think about it that way, stop being a hypocrite, and actually pay attention!


tell it how it is-

Maybe it is because you have personal connections to some teachers that this issue is so emotional for you, and I get that and respect that.

However, if you take the emotion out of it, this really comes down to simple economics and the facts regarding how schools (therefore teachers) are funded. It's through taxes, paid by the community. Therefore, we DO have a right to question their pay and concessions.

I understand how doing a good job and having their pay questioned probably makes them feel, but their career path was to work in the public sector which does give others the right and the DUTY to question spending. Personally, I work in the public sector, do a damn good job, and have been forced to face concessions to stay employed. My company can't go to anyone and ask for a levy when things get tight.

It stinks, but economics aren't personal nor is anyone immune from them. They are a fact of life.


Ahhh I see now, you are part of the clique there. That explains a lot.

You are so mistaken, it's your friends and school board that HAVEN'T BEEN PAYING ATTENTION--- the TAX PAYERS have spoken what ??? 7 times NOW??

The last comment I will make to you is this:

As a TAX PAYER, I have EVERY RIGHT to say something about their pay, WELCOME to PUBLIC SECTOR my friend....


She probably hangs out with all of them at the mason jar! lol


OutofWork and Tiredofthe Crap-
Are you responding to me? Or was that a formating issue?

If you are responding to me I can honestly and whole-heartedly say that I am NOT part of the "clique" nor are my children. So contrary, but I won't go there. I also won't go into what would have happened if Snag and Chuckles and CJL were still there.

Times have changed, as have I changed. I'm just a good old EHS graduate with extended education looking at things from my reality which no longer involves "Edison is the best district ever" and all of that emotion.

I am able to separate myself from all that BS and their BS reasons/excuses. EHS is no longer the best school in the area. Check out some of the resources on this thread if you disagree- and you are free to do so!

I can separate the emotion, and I have every right to voice my concerns, as do you. Just trying to make sure every point is voiced as I KNOW there are penalties if you don't bow down to the "clique" of which I have never, ever been a part of. Chuckles, Snag and CJL will/would vouch for that.


Crissysnow..My comment was for tell it like it is. She is dumber than a box of rocks and apparently not a home owner.


Gotcha, Tired. And thanks fr responding. The formatting on this site stinks. Go figure!


So let me get this straight--- They are asking the voters for 7.9 mill in May for 5 YEARS, and in 3 years they will be BACK IN THE RED????



Truth or Fiction

Boy it sounds like some local folk can really get the masses upset! The problem is not the Board, the schools, the Administration, the Teachers, or for that matter the Communities that make up the school district. The problem is the means by which our great State funds the education of our youth. No one wants to admit that the funding of Ohio schools requires districts to return to the ballot on average every five years just to keep up with inflationary increases and new unfunded federal and state mandates. We can continue to deamonize others in an attempt to cover our own fears but it serves no greater good. I would hope that the people of Berlin and Milan can realize what they have built in their educational system over the decades and work to sustain it, not destroy it!


GREAT point! Unfortunately, even if the people who are able to pay more vote in the levy, the Government will definitely NEVER fix it. You are RIGHT, the STATE needs to fix it....


Not trying to demonize anyone. Just trying to state facts. Unions had a place, IMO, in the 23-30 era. However, in my experience life has changed. And it serves no greater purpose than to blame others for their vote. It is happening, as many predicted, and here we are. So do we just have a standoff? Would that help? I don't think so. I think there are fundamental issues folks disagree on and it all comes back to the Constitution Of The United States of Amrerica.


Bottom line is school workers think they are ammune to bad financial times. They are not in a job that sees sales go down or chinese products come and take away revenue. When you divide the paychecks by the normal 52 week average they are very well paid. 52 weeks of 5 day weeks is 260 days and most of them work 178-184 so someone making 40 grand comes out to 61 grand on a normal work schedule. Then add on the retirement and they are in the top 10%

Truth or Fiction

So what does an engineer, supervisor, or manager at a local manufacturing facility make? I would hazard a guess that it is better than $50,000 and they are not required to have a master's degree. Nor are they required to upgrade to a level of certification on an annual basis. Add retirement, 401k match, and other perks, I would hazard a guess that some are exceeding six figures. You have to quit demonizing one group to promote your agenda. The facts just don't support it.


You have no clue what the private sector does you are either a teacher or ex teacher. You picked the top 3 positions at a factory and that means there are 3-6 of those people at the factory. If you are for being fair compare it to the 98% of the factory not the top 2


Out of work,

Where does the state get their money? Answer: Taxes from taxpayers.

How do you think the state will solve the problem? Answer: Tax the taxpayers.

The excuse of "it's the state's fault" has no merit. You can either have the local government take the funds out of your right pocket or have the state take the funds out of your left pocket.

You problem is the enormous bureaucratic juggernaut at the federal, state and local level (including schools) that needs to continue to feed its self to survive.

We need to start saying "no" at the local level, then the state level and then at the federal level if we wish to take back control of our country. Start local and work your way up .