May 4 Primary Election: School districts across Northeast Ohio ask voters for funding

Posted at 8:47 AM, May 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-04 08:47:32-04

CLEVELAND — Today voters across Northeast Ohio are heading to the polls for the May 4 primary election.

School districts are hoping their communities help save their schools as some like Parma City Schools are desperate after failed levies over and over.

The state also rejected money to patch up their problems, forcing them to start over with new construction.

“We have reached the tipping point in Parma. All of our schools really have been deemed obsolete by the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission. It’s time. It’s worth it for our kids, it’s worth it for our communities to really invest in new facilities,” said Charles Smialek, Parma City Schools Superintendent.

The same plea is echoed in at least six other districts: Summit, Lake, Portage, Medina and Stark counties.

Voters in Stark County have turned down the Louisville City School District’s levy three times now.

The money is needed to get rid of school fees, restore busing, programs and field trips.

Desperate for a yes this time around, the district is cutting its ask down. The homeowner of a $100,000 home will be set to pay $206 per year.

School leaders are aware they are asking for a lot as many are still burdened by a pandemic, but they say the students are worth every penny.

“We're not inside people's psyche, we're not inside people's bookkeeping and their finances. But clearly research shows that when you do invest in new schools, that does help property values, that does help student achievement, that does help public school enrollment,” said Smialek.

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