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Major cuts coming to Edison if operating levy doesn’t pass

FPS staff report

Busing could be taken away for students in grades 9-12 and Pleasant Hill elementary closed if voters in the Edison School District reject an operating levy at a special election Feb. 5.

According to Edison Local School District Treasurer Dennis Menoski, the school district is facing a $1.5 million deficit by June 2014.

To offset the deficit, the Edison Local Board of Education has approved a budget recovery plan providing for a total savings of $1,435,961 next school year.

The additional 9.45-mill tax levy the district is asking for amounts to .945 cents for each $100 of property valuation for a continuing period of time, commencing in 2013, and due in 2014. If approved, the additional tax will cost the owner of a $100,000 home $217 with the homestead exemption and $289 without the exemption, according to Menoski.

Failure of the levy could mean that the state will eventually take over the school district, says Superintendent Bill Beattie. However, if a levy is placed on the ballot in November and approved, it still won’t save the closing of Pleasant Hill elementary school on SR 213 where building cuts will amount to $294,203 next school year. Pleasant Hill currently has 34 employees who will be transferred along with the students, school officials said.

This amount includes a savings of $51,942 for one secretary, $55,322 for four aides, $112,860 for four custodians, $33,094 for a night building cleaner and $40,985 building savings.

Elimination of high school transportation plus rerouting/secretary amounts to a savings of $450,000 plus a savings of $378,758 for attrition (retirement) or Reduction in Force (RIF) of five teachers in the school district, according to the budget recovery plan.

Additional revenue in the recovery plan is listed at $313,000 and includes $110,000 in Walmart tax abatement, $78,000 in casino revenue and $125,000 for reduction capital outlay (building maintenance).

If Pleasant Hill school is closed as a result of the failure to the tax levy, students will be transferred to John Gregg elementary school located between Amsterdam and Bergholz and Stanton elementary school in Hammondsville.

Supt. Beattie noted the recovery plan to eliminate busing, cut staff and close a school building is not a threat to pass the levy, but is the last and final attempt to save the school district from being taken over by the state.

Edison Local School District has a total enrollment of 2,060 students in grades K-12 who are housed in four buildings. They currently include Pleasant Hill elementary, Stanton elementary, John Gregg Middle School and Edison High School.

Polls in the school district’s 21 precincts will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. for Tuesday’s special election.

According to the Carroll County Board of Elections, there are 214 registered voters in the three precincts of Lee, Loudon and Fox townships in Carroll County who have been transferred to one polling location at the Loudon Twp. Fire House in Kilgore.

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