The Madison-Plains Local School District has a 1.25% income tax levy on Tuesday’s ballot.
The district’s superintendent Tim Dettwiller said they’ve already made cuts, but it won’t be enough without community support.
He said Madison-Plains is like an island. It’s the only school district in the county without an income tax levy.
“We’ve been on a ten-year financial plan now since 2012 and we’ve known for the last couple of years based on that plan that we were running out of money,” said Dettwiller. “We’ve reduced our expenses over time to offset and push out that deficit that was coming towards us. We’ve been able to do that, now we can’t.”
Dettwiller said they’ve already made $600,000 in cuts, including aide positions, to make it through next school year.
If the levy doesn’t pass, he said the board of education will have a tough decision to make.
“Fact of the matter is, something has got to give and you don’t want to start with teachers,” he said.
Dettwiller said they may look at possible reductions in their reading intervention program, instructional coaches and teaching positions if the levy is unsuccessful.
“It could be more cuts or it could be back on the ballot,” he said
Some residents said they can’t afford a tax hike.
“They need to focus the money on what they need and sometimes I feel they waste it on things they shouldn’t,” said Celeste Neel. “I hope the best for each side.”
Others said they want to see the levy pass.
“You only have one chance to teach them,” said Rita Ell. “We need to do everything we can so that they can have the education they need.”
Dettwiller said the levy is 1.25% of your earned, adjusted income.
“If you’re on a pension, a retirement system of some kind, doesn’t effect you at all,” he said.
Dettwiller said the school district has not passed or received a new operating levy since 2005.