Ashtabula Area City Schools serve almost four thousand students from pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade in nine buildings around the district.
Thanks to Kasich’s cuts, Ashtabula Schools will ask voters to approve a 6.4-mill levy that is estimated to raise $2.7 million per year for five years. The levy will be used to recoup the estimated $1.7 million lost in government funding.
The state originally committed to keep districts and local communities whole by providing replacement revenue generated by the new Commercial Activity Tax until 2017. But through a budget approved by local State Representative Casey Kozlowski, Kasich accelerated the phase-out, leaving districts without the revenue a full five years ahead of schedule.
This will be the third attempt at the ballot for Ashtabula City Schools. Voters rejected levy requests in March and August of this year. In order to balance a budget slashed by the state, teachers agreed to $110,000 in concessions including no wage increases for the next four years and increased health care contributions. The district also implemented pay-to-play and eliminated teaching and other staff positions.
If the levy fails, Ashtabula City schools Board of Education says it will be forced to eliminate all junior high sports; end bus transportation for grades 9 – 12; and eliminate weekend activities in the district.