Crestwood schools levy on ballot today


Facing a proposed $2.4 million deficit, the Crestwood Local School District has placed a $1.97 million operating levy on the ballot for today.

Administrators are trying to avoid laying off teachers and cutting services to students.

The district could face cutting busing to some students.

If the levy fails, the district would be forced to scale back busing to the state minimum requirement. That means students who live within two miles of their school would have to find another way to get to class.

Such a cut would eliminate six bus drivers and reduce expenses by $200,000.

The busing cuts would only affect children in kindergarten through eighth grade. And in an effort to alleviate some pressure, the district would consider hiring additional crossing guards, traffic officers near schools, and creating a pay-to-ride route with Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority. The district would also be forced to increase kindergarten class sizes should the levy fail.

If the levy passes, two existing operating levies would be allowed to expire in the fourth and fifth years of the new operating levy.

Passage of the levy would increase property taxes on homeowners. According to the district’s Web site, homeowners with a property value of $100,000 would pay an annual increase of $219 in taxes.

The size of the tax increase varies, depending on the value of a person’s home.

—Matt Fredmonsky