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Year in Review: School district talked finances early, often in 2012

From staff Reports Published: January 10, 2013 12:00 AM
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Twinsburg -- The Twinsburg School District began the year with a financial trepidation it did not possess by the conclusion of 2012, ass voters approved a 4.9-mill school operations levy in November that will generate $3.8 million per year for the district.

In January, the district began gathering information from the public as to how to bridge a $7 million budget gap, caused by the state's elimination of the tangible personal property tax and rising operational costs. Hundreds attended a meeting at R.B. Chamberlin Middle early in the year, offering options that included staff cuts, pay-to-play policies, a restructured schedule, and a proposed levy.

A study by a Hudson marketing firm in the summer confirmed that a levy of relatively moderate millage would be supported by school district voters, and three separate surveys conducted by the Twinsburg School District showed a two to one ratio of voters who favored some type of a levy over staff, supply or classroom cuts that could negatively affect academics.

The district ultimately chose an "all-of-the-above" approach of internal cost reductions and new revenue, presenting the levy to the public, and making its own $3.2 million in cuts through the elimination of 58 positions and the implementation of student fees for supplies, field trips and all sports.

"The levy will provide the financial resources needed to provide an excellent education for our children," superintendent Kathryn Powers said following the Nov. 6 passage of the levy.

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