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Approved Norwalk levy will keep district 'focused on providing an innovative educational experience'

Cary Ashby • Nov 8, 2018 at 11:00 AM

Norwalk City Schools Superintendent George Fisk appreciates the public’s support in renewing the emergency operating levy.

“We are extremely appreciative to the voters of Norwalk for approving our renewal levy. This approval will allow NCSD to remain focused on providing an innovative educational experience for our children which will prepare them for life after graduation,” Fisk said. “We will continue to prioritize our growth as an area leader in STEM opportunities as well as our overall district improvement efforts.”

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math.

During Tuesday’s election, voters supported the levy, with 3,654 votes for it (or 60 percent) and 2,417 people voting against it, according to unofficial results.

This is the renewal of a 4.85-mill levy that brings in $1.54 million to the district each year. For the owner of house valued at $100,00, it will cost $169.75 per year and a homestead taxpayer will pay $127.32.

District treasurer Joyce Dupont explained the levy in a “School Matters” column published in late October.

“A renewal doesn’t increase property taxes. The levy was first passed in May 2014 as a 4.95-mill levy; the renewal (was) on the ballot as a 4.85-mill levy. Since the district has grown since 2014, the millage is decreased. This brings in the same amount of revenue to the school each year. Outside the 10-mill limitation means the tax has to be voted on and approved by voters to be collected,” she said.

“Emergency requirements say the levy keeps the school district from operating in a deficit; it keeps us in the black. Since the levy was first passed in 2014, the school has maintained a positive financial year end after many years of operating deficits. Reductions in staff and budgets weren’t enough to avoid the red ink in those days of state education funding reductions. Even with the current levy in place, Norwalk City Schools is among the 20 percent of public districts with the lowest operating expenses per pupil — this information comes from the Ohio Department of Education report card,” added Dupont, who encouraged readers to look at the financial data and comparisons to other school districts on the Ohio Department of Education website.

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