Northwood Schools contemplates closing a school -- if levy fails

Superintendent Greg Clark fears academics would suffer if levy fails.
Superintendent Greg Clark fears academics would suffer if levy fails.
Amy Romstadt has five children in school and doesn't want the "pay to play" option.
Amy Romstadt has five children in school and doesn't want the "pay to play" option.

NORTHWOOD -- There's a lot more on the primary ballot than presidential politics. For one thing, school districts are fighting budget problems, reports News 11's Shelley Brown.

The Northwood Schools district, for example, is hoping voters approve an operating levy on Tuesday. Superintendent Greg Clark says if the levy fails, classroom sizes will change and one of the two schools -- Lark Elementary or Olney Elementary -- would close.

"The price of taking care and educating kids goes up like everything else," says Clark, who notes the district has been doing well in terms of academic performance.

But that could change if they have to close a school and cut teachers -- the biggest part of the district's budget -- should the 7.9-mill operating levy fail next week.

"We have not had any increases here in Northwood since 2004 and so the percentage of each child's education that the State is taking care of is going down," Clark says.

On Thursday night, there was a school district celebration with students, faculty and parents. One parent of five school kids said she's concerned.

"Marie is in tenth grade, Marissa is in eighth grade, Tim is in second, Alec is in first and Tory is in pre-school," Amy Romstadt says. She understands that even if the levy passes, the district will still need to make cuts.

One change would be a "pay to play" program for extracurriculars.

"For my family, it would be cheaper to pass the levy than to pay to play," Romstadt says.

The district is also considering open enrollment, which would open the district to students from other areas.

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