TPS reviewing budget, to decide on multimillion dollar levy - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

TPS reviewing budget, to decide on multimillion dollar levy

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Toledo Public School leaders reviewed the budget Tuesday night. Board members decided to table multimillion dollar levy, which means it will not appear on the May ballot.

The school district is trying to find a way to add more money to the budget, but that means Toledoans would have to pay.

The board was set to vote on a 6.5 mill renewal levy that officials say could raise between $13 to $16 million a year for the next five years. Voters shot down a levy request back in November which would have raised $4.9 million for 10 years.

The existing tax levy expires at the end of 2013. Officials have said that if the levy is not renewed, TPS could be in trouble financially.

Supporters of the levy say it is good because the funding is going towards children. Those against the levy say times are hard and the tax increase would be another expense they just could not afford.

Board member Lisa Sobecki said passing a levy is never a sure thing.

"They're never easy to pass," Sobecki said. "As board members we have to go out into the community and let them know what we're doing in our schools, what we're doing with those monies and why those monies are so important."

Sobecki said she felt that the board was pressured into passing the levy proposal to meet the February 6 filing deadline. She and other board members said they were uncomfortable with the time frame, as well as the cost of a special election: $200,000.

"If this was so important to the administration, then we would have had a plan," Sobecki said. "And I feel as if there was no plan, and we still don't have a plan on being able to go out and successfully run a levy."

The renewal was delayed and sent back to the Finance Committee for further study.

An August or November election may still occur.

Tina Henold, a TPS district resident, said it may be better to wait until the results of the performance audit of the district come in.

"We are throwing money constantly at problems without taking heed to other aspects of what is going on," Henold said. "We don't know what this audit is going to entail, we don't know how TPS can be a well-oiled machine."

Copyright 2013 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.

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