TALLMADGE — The Tallmadge City Schools will have to send a revised five-year forecast and come up with a list of possible budget cuts due to the loss of its 5-year, 7.4-mill levy on the Nov. 6 election.
This would have to be filed with the Ohio Department of Education by Jan. 6, said Superintendent Jeff Ferguson.
"Jeff [Hostetler, school treasurer] and I have been notified by the state to send a report," Ferguson said. "Obviously, we are not happy with the outcome [of the election]. The need doesn’t go away with the loss. The board will have to make some quick decisions."
The school board also informally discussed the possibility of trying again for the May election during its meeting Wednesday. However, Board President Rick Kellar said the district would like to host a public forum before the new year to gauge community reaction and concerns, and to give the board and administration a chance to educate the public on the district’s need.
Hostetler said the filing deadline for placing a levy on the May ballot is Feb. 6. Putting a levy on for a vote involves two separate steps by the school board: one to approve legislation asking for the Summit County Fiscal Office to calculate how many mills are needed to generate the money the board is asking voters to approve, and a second piece of legislation asking the Summit County Board of Elections office to place the issue on the ballot.
Meanwhile, Hostetler said, the school board will have to come up with a plan to ensure that the district remains in the black for the next five years.
According to the five-year forecast sent to the Ohio Department of Education in October, the Tallmadge City Schools are expected to have a negative ending cash balance of about $1.5 million by 2021. The negative balance will grow to nearly $5 million in 2022.
"The state needs a plan on how the district will avoid deficits," Hostetler said.
The proposed levy would have generated a little more than $3.1 million a year and cost the owner of a $100,000 home an extra $259 per year.
Reporter April Helms can be reached at 330-541-9423, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @AprilKHelms_RPC