MARYSVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) – All-day kindergarten, individualized learning for at-risk students and other school programs are on the chopping block after voters in Marysville rejected an emergency school levy.
The 5-year, 8.4-mill emergency levy garnered less than 44% of voters in Tuesday’s election, prompting the Marysville Exempted Village School District to implement its contingency plan amid a projected decline in operating revenue. In an update shared with district families Wednesday, Superintendent Diane Allen said the board-approved contingency plan will cut district spending by $2 million.
All-day, every-day kindergarten and some educational programming at Bunsold Middle School will be eliminated. The district will also close Marysville’s TRI Academy, an individualized learning program for students struggling to earn academic credits in traditional classes.
Despite anticipated enrollment increases – averaging about 100 additional students per year, according to the district – the contingency plan freezes all hiring decisions, resulting in larger class sizes and reductions in class offerings. There will also be a “reduction” of sports team assistant coaches and extra- and co-curricular program advisers and directors, according to the message to families, although it’s not clear what programs or positions will be affected. Extracurricular travel and school-funded field trips will also be scaled back.
“We understand that these changes will have a significant impact on our students and families, but they are necessary to maintain the fiscal stability of our district,” Allen wrote to parents. “In the coming weeks, we will communicate any specific changes that will directly affect your child’s school experience.”
Allen did not respond to a request for comment.
The last time voters approved an operating levy was in 2008, according to the district website. Since 2016, the district’s state revenue has increased by less than $50 per pupil, while the anticipated 2024 elimination of the state tangible personal property tax will result in a $5.6 million loss. Additionally, state laws designed to stabilize year-over-year property tax costs meant that increasing property values in Marysville did not correspond with increased district funding.
The levy, worth $9.6 million, would have funded salaries, school supplies, and maintenance and utility costs. Ahead of the levy, the district began implementing cost-saving measures, including the reduction of administrative staff and central office staff and prioritizing energy efficiency across district buildings.