Sunday, July 15, 2001

Finneytown schools plan levy

District to make first request since '92

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer Contributor

        SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP — Voters in the Finneytown Schools will be asked in November to approve a continuing 7.95-mill operating levy.

        The levy would raise about $1.4 million annually for day-to-day operations in this district of 1,850 students.

        “It's definitely the time to do it,” said Superintendent Sam Martin. “We want to continue the Finneytown tradition of improvement. We are constantly upgrading our curriculum, adding to it and being inventive.”

        The final vote necessary to put the issue on the Nov. 6 ballot is scheduled for Monday'sFinneytown Board of Education meeting.

        Mr. Martin said the district has enough money for the coming school year but will run into financial difficulties in the 2002-03 school year without additional revenue. It is the first time in nine years that voters are being asked to increase their taxes to pay for the district's daily expenses.

        Since then, Brent Elementary has reopened as its third elementary, housing a Hamilton County preschool classroom and 219 Finneytown children in grades kindergarten through 5.

        “The need is there because of so many mandates from the state,” said parent Celeste Jenkins, who is co-chairing a levy committee with Steve Linder. “... An investment in our kids is an investment in our future. I think it's our responsibility to educate the children who come after us.”

        Board member Gary Metzger said the board tried to postpone the levy until the state school funding issue was resolved in the Ohio Supreme Court, but the district is at the point it needs the money.

        “We've put it off about as long as we could. We've run out of time,” Mr. Metzger said. “Our ability to be able to continue the things we do would be in jeopardy (if we wait any longer).”

        The levy would cost the owner of a house with an assessed value of $100,000 an additional $232 annually.


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