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: