NORTHFIELD CENTER — Nordonia Hills City School officials are hoping voters in the district will pass Issue 3, its upcoming 6.98-mill operating levy on the May 7 ballot.
The continuing levy would generate around $7 million for the schools and cost homeowners around $20 per $100,000 of their home’s value per month. A previous 6.98-mill continuing operating levy failed in November. If passed, funds from the levy would be collected starting January 2020.
The last new operating levy was approved by the voters in November 2011.
Hoping to reverse November’s result, the Friends of Nordonia Schools have been busy trying to get out the vote.
"We’ve done a boatload of stuff," said Julie Moran, levy chair.
The committee has taken to social media channels such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to get the word out about Issue 3, and even scheduled a Facebook Live interview with the superintendent, Moran said. The committee also has placed more than 300 signs throughout the community, as well as door hangers.
"There’s a bunch of signs on business windows and in yards," she said.
One thing the committee did not do was knock on doors, Moran added.
"It’s not very beneficial to knock on doors," she said. "A lot of people don’t open the doors."
Moran said 3,600 children are in school and added, "each of them are counting on the communities for support. Every ‘yes’ vote matters."
The funds from the operating levy would be used for day-to-day expenses such as programming, salaries and benefits for staff, health screenings, career preparation, athletics, the arts and more.
School officials also have said in the past that money generated through the levy would go towards needed maintenance of the school buildings and grounds, including repairing the parking lots, fixing the gym floors, replacing boilers, fixing the roofs, and more.
The district has implemented several spending cuts. In March, the school board unanimously approved agreements with the Nordonia Hills Educators Association and the Ohio Associate of Public School Employees Local 246 implementing a base salary freeze for the 2019-20 school year, regardless of whether the levy is approved.
Officials say the freeze would save the district more than $200,000 per year through the two bargaining units agreeing to forgo a negotiated pay increase next year.
In addition, in March the school board also agreed to suspend the contracts for five certified staff members and 28 classified staff members, effective June 6. The staff cuts, along with a reduction in busing to state minimum effective next year, would save the district $1.67 million per year. The busing cut is meant to save $595,000 a year. School officials previously said some of the staff cuts and the cuts to busing would be reconsidered should the May levy pass.
Reporter April Helms can be reached at 330-541-9423, email@example.com, or @AprilKHelms_RPC