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Pickerington Local To Ask For Levy, Again

Just days after slashing $13 million dollars from its budget, Pickerington Local School Board members say the cuts are not enough to sustain the district. Board members have decided to place another levy on the ballot later this year.

"We are in dire need of operating money."

Pickerington Local Schools Treasurer Dan Griscom said during the past couple of years the school district has suffered large cuts in state funding and reductions in local revenue due to the down economy. The district hopes voters will come to their aid in May and pass a levy - even though they rejected one in November. Griscom is confident this one could pass.

"We will that there is a lot of momentum in the community to help our schools. We feel like the message has really gotten out there," Griscom said.

But board members are looking to put 9.5 mills on the ballot...higher than the one rejected in November.

But like Griscom said, the district is in dire straits. As part of its budget cuts, it plans to lay off about 100 teachers, teachers' aids and other employees. And those positions, Griscom said, may not be restored, even if the levy is approved.

"There's a chance that some of those may be restored, but it's up in the air right now. It depends on what happens with our state funding picture which we won't know until at least March when Governor [John] Kasich comes out with his budget proposal. And we are on pins and needles waiting to see how that will affect us. We are over half-funded by the state of Ohio," he said.

The district expects to lose $6 million dollars in state funding this upcoming year that's on top of a nearly $5 million dollar decrease in revenue over the last two years.

The board will vote Monday on a resolution to put the levy on the ballot.