School Levy Profile: Massillon City Schools

Serving over 4,000 kids in Stark County, Massillon City Schools is facing stark choices of its own if a levy on the November ballot fails.

The district, faced with declining tax collections and cuts in state funding, earlier this year took the dramatic step of consolidating its six elementary schools into just three. Now, if a proposed 5-year, 8.1-mill levy fails, third graders, already uprooted in the recent consolidation, will be moving to the intermediate school.

You read that right. Third graders — as young as eight years old — may be moving to a new building for the second time in their short school careers. As one district parent commented on the levy’s Facebook page:

My baby will not be attending middle school as a third grader. If it doesn’t pass, I’m outta here.

The district’s 2010-11 budget was $50 million. In the state budget — which cut schools statewide by $1.8 billion — the district lost $3.8 million. As a result, including the school consolidations, the district has cut spending by $3.7 million in 2012-13 including the elimination of 51 staff members. If successful, the levy will provide $3.4 million per year for the district to avoid what it calls a “fiscal apocalypse.”  If it fails, additional measures under consideration include:

  • $3 million more in cuts
  • Clubs, sports and fine arts are on the chopping block
  • Schools will consolidate further