Field School District’s 5.5-mill levy request fails at Tuesday’s election

Raven Brinson


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Video by Raven Brinson.

Voters decided Tuesday against a 5.5-mill Field Local School District levy request, making it the sixth failed attempt in two years.

The race came down to ninety-one ballots, with 2,130 votes (49 percent) for the levy and 2,221 votes (51 percent) against it, according to complete but unofficial canvass results from the Portage County Board of Elections.

The district hasn’t passed a levy for new money for operations in 22 years.

Field Local School District Superintendent Dave Heflinger said voters can expect to see the levy back on the ballot in the spring.

“And at that point, we may have to discuss what would happen if that doesn’t pass,” Heflinger said.

The levy, if passed, would generate about $1.4 million per year for the district’s operating fund and $536,000 for permanent improvements. Additionally, it would help restore music, art and physical education teachers at elementary levels, reduce “pay to participate” rates and bring back bussing.

This school year, the district received an increase in state funding of about 6.25 percent, but Field Local Schools Treasurer Todd Carpenter said his rough estimate, including new state money, still projects a deficit of about $1.5 million in fiscal year 2015.

“We’re going to be in the same situation as we are now, having to go to the voters and ask for additional local support,” Carpenter said.

Board of Education President Terry Kettering said the school district will have to make more cuts without voter support.

“If we make more cuts, we lose more people, more kids,” Kettering said. “We can’t offer as much, (and) the whole community will be affected.”

Raven Brinson is a city reporter for the Daily Kent Stater.

Contact Raven Brinson at [email protected].