Northwestern prepares for cuts, plans to put substitute levy on ballot again

Northwestern Schools. Bill Lackey/Staff

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Northwestern Schools. Bill Lackey/Staff

Northwestern Local School District is planning for budget cuts and to put a levy back on the ballot in May after voters rejected a substitute levy in November.

“The board directed the treasurer and myself to prepare to put the levy back on in May,” said Superintendent Jesse Steiner. “They also directed us to prepare a list of proposed cuts of what we would need to do to offset the $1.2-million deficit we would face next fiscal year.”

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The list of proposed cuts has not yet been made, but Steiner said they would be “massive.”

“The cut would be massive... We will have to go through every aspect of what we do and eliminate anything that is not essential to getting students to graduate,” he said.

The substitute levy, which would not raise taxes, is for general operating. It represents about 10% of the district’s operating budget, and the amount of revenue collected by the levy is $1,715,680.

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According to November election results, 58.54% of voters were against and 41.46% were for the levy.

Steiner said before the election that without the levy, the district would have to “look at making dramatic cuts.” He said the levy is roughly the equivalent to 17 teachers and their total benefits packages, but that other things, such as busing, extracurriculars, anything not essential to graduating students, would go before teachers.

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