TPS could add new tax levy for November ballot

The TPS Finance Committee made a recommendation to put a $6.9 million levy on the November ballot.
The TPS Finance Committee made a recommendation to put a $6.9 million levy on the November ballot.

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - The Toledo Public School Board's Finance Committee met Wednesday morning to discuss a possible new tax levy.

The committee made a recommendation of a $6.9 million levy on the November ballot, which would still need to go to the board for approval. The owner of a $60,000 home would pay $126.79 per year.

This is the first levy TPS will have on the ballot since two levies failed in 2010. The district has since cut about $40 million and has not received any operating money since 2001.

TPS is currently wrapping up its first school year implementing the transformation plan.

"The district is seen as improving, and that we're being more transparent. The transformation plan is working and is being received well within our community," said TPS Chief Academic Officer Jim Gault.

The five-year forecast puts the district in the red in 2014. A new levy would keep it in the black until 2016.

If the levy fails, before the 2013-2014 school year, the district would have to cut $22 million, and several aspects of the transformation plan would be dropped, despite nearly $30 million in secured grants.

"It is critical to the community. It is critical to our students. Toledo Public Schools has gone through a transformation, and we need to continue that. We're headed in the right direction, and we can't afford to fall backwards," said Bob Vasquez, member of the TPS School Board. "We've been one of the hardest hit communities economically, but we don't want the education of our students to suffer from that, so we really need to pass this levy."

Gault agreed the levy is crucial in moving forward.

"We've got a lot of work to do, and this needs to be a community effort," said Gault.

A special meeting about the levy will tentatively be held Monday.

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