School Debacle

CLOSE BUT no cigar. It is a ancient-old adage, but one appropriate following Tuesday’s primary election results.

The Switzerland of Ohio School District was asking for approval of a 6.44 mill emergency operating levy. It was needed to avert the implementation of Phases 2 and 3 of its fiscal responsibility plan.

The vote was very close, with the levy request falling a mere 100 votes short out of some 4,000 ballots cast. Close isn’t good enough, however, in the realm of levies. It is all or nothing.

Superintendent Larry Elliott is obviously disappointed with the outcome. But he remains vigilant with his vow to follow through with the cutbacks. Elliott is right when he says the district cannot spend money it doesn’t have.

Unfortunately, becoming fiscally responsible comes at a cost. Students and staff will be the ones paying the price.

Countless teaching positions will be eliminated. OAPSE operations will be impacted. Students will see the elimination of a wide selection of academic and extra-curricular options.

Moreover, athletic programs will be forced to become self-supporting. That will prove tasks of major proportions.

Tuesday’s levy defeat, albeit by a slim margin, is a bitter pill to swallow for all those involved with the district. It also leads to an uncertain future for Switzerland of Ohio schools.

Some students will obviously exit for greener academic and athletic pastures. That only compounds the district’s plight.

We commend the Switzerland of Ohio officials for waging an informative and passionate campaign. Unfortunately, close is not good enough.