Fate of Beallsville a concern

WOODSFIELD – One of the major questions that came before the Switzerland of Ohio Local School District Board of Education at their Thursday night meeting was concerning the fate of Beallsville High School.

Many parents, grandparents and alumni came before the board asking about a rumor that has been spread throughout the district claiming that Beallsville high school students, which is about 100 students, will be moved to other schools. As the end of the school year is a little more then a month away, a decision has yet to reached by the board.

Parents are concerned about where their children will go. Many have talked about leaving the district altogether. Another question that was asked was if the levy was to pass, would they get to keep their students in Beallsville?

In the last several years, Switzerland of Ohio Local School District has made multiple attempts of passing a levy in the district. A levy would create funds within the district that would possibly help pull it out of debt. According to Board Treasure Lance Erlwein, by 2018, the district will have a deficit of six million dollars.

“Our finances are so bad that we have had problems for decades or more, but nowhere near the cliff like we are now. If we do nothing and allowed everyone to have what they want, the district will dissolve,” said Erlwein.

“It’s that bad. The projected deficit for 2018, if we do nothing, is over six million dollars.”

They are currently planning on placing another levy on the ballot but the millage has yet to be determined. If passed, it would help keep the district afloat.

“If anyone thinks this is an easy job to set up here and make all of these decision, then you have another thing to think about … You say think about these options, there isn’t a thing I haven’t thought of for this district,” said Justin Isaly, who is a River High School graduate and has two daughters. “I want the best education possible for my kids and some of these decisions we are going to have to make is not going to be decisions everybody agrees with, and I understand that … I am trying to do what is best for everybody. What we have to do is what is best for our kids, and right now what we have to offer our kids, in my opinion, are the bare minimum and are a skeleton of an education … Right now, I’m sorry, but it’s an embarrassment and these kids do not have the oportunities I had.”

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