Oregon reacts to failed school levy

By Erica Shaffer - bio | email

Posted by Dave Dykema - email

OREGON, OH (WTOL) - An emergency request for funding met with a resounding "no" from Oregon voters.

Oregon schools may be in dire straits after city residents overwhelmingly deny an emergency school levy by an almost 3-1 margin.

The almost $6 million proposed emergency levy would have kept the Oregon school system in the black for at least 2 more years.

For homeowners the levy would have meant over $100 more in taxes.

"I am very disappointed because I have seen so many cuts go into place for the kids," says Karen Howard, who has kids in the district. "Already a lot of programs that I hated to see got cut and it is affecting the kids directly and that's the sad thing. It really is affecting our children."

Superintendent Mike Zalar says the results are disappointing but the worst part is that kids will be affected.

"Ultimately at the end of the day students are going to have bigger class sizes, fewer teachers, fewer opportunities for education and that is unfortunate," says Zalar.

One voter says future generations are important, but says schools should look at all options before they raise taxes.

"Of course it's for the children and that's the way it should be, but I think there is a lot of other stuff that should be cut."

This year Oregon schools will be short almost 75 employees including teachers. Zalar says they are still struggling to maintain what they have previously been able to provide.

"It's not a spending problem that the district has been over spending," Zalar says. "We've lost the revenue and we are trying to maintain an excellent school district, but it is very hard to do without adequate revenue to support the programs that we have in place."

Wednesday night the Oregon School Board meets to discuss possible changes to the levy based on voter input and whether to put it back on the ballot in November.

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