Switzerland of Ohio levy fails

WOODSFIELD – The Switzerland of Ohio Local School District’s 6.44 mill emergency operating levy was voted down in Tuesday’s election.

The votes were 2,026 were against the levy and 1,935 for the levy.

The district that is already facing financial hardship will now enter Phase 3 to live within its means.

“I’m disappointed at the outcome, and the voters have given us a direction, now we must live within our means and will have to cut back what we can offer,” said Superintendent Larry Elliott. “We told voters, up-front, in many community meetings, that we have plans in place. We will be fiscally responsible. We can’t spend what we do not have.”

Phases 2 and3 include the elimination of school programs and jobs. Phases 2 and 3 also include:

  • Elimination of all elementary physical education teaching positions.
  • Elimination of all elementary music teaching positions.
  • Elimination of all home economics and consumer science teaching positions.
  • Elimination of all high school shop positions.
  • Elimination of all high school French positions.
  • Elimination of all high school band/ music positions.
  • Elimination of the district courier position.
  • Elimination of six classroom aide positions.
  • Elimination of one talented and gifted position.
  • Closure of the River High School bus garage and elimination of one bus mechanic position.
  • Elimination of all district funding to athletic and extracurricular programs, requiring them to be financially self-supporting. An athletic/extracurricular fee will be determined on a per-participant basis for each sport/activity at each building. Fees must cover all related expenses and be paid up-front in order for the sport/activity to be approved.
  • Elimination of approximately 23 certified teaching positions in a district-wide reorganization. Class sizes will be restructured to the state maximum student/ teacher ratio in every classroom, at every grade level.

Phase 1 included the elimination of three jobs, field trips that were not independently funded and had limited board compensation.

All of these cuts of Phase 2 and 3 will go into effect at the start of the 2013-2014 school year.

“This is going to be dramatic. We will be offering less for students and some might leave the district. We will do the best we can with what we have,” said Elliott. “We have good students, staff and faculty and will get through this. But the district will be fiscally responsible.”

Van Dyne can be reached at kvandyne@timesleaderonline.com.