Mon October 31, 2011
Xenia Faces More Cuts, Controversy Ahead Of School Levy Issue On Ballot
The Xenia Community School District may be facing more cuts if a levy on the ballot next week fails. The district is asking for a 5 year 4.8 mill emergency levy to help address a $3 million deficit.
In the last two years, the district has already cut 8.8 million dollars from their budget. Teachers and administrators have had pay freezes with no step increases and will pay higher insurance premiums. That's caused a controversy with the Xenia Educational Support professionals Union, who represent bus drivers, custodians, food service workers and other staff.
Mark Gokavi with the Dayton Daily News says no matter the outcome at the ballot box, a strike scheduled for November 10th will likely go on as scheduled. But he adds that both sides do agree on one thing.
"The Union and the district are both solidly for the levy. The district is trying to say 'we need this regardless' and the union is trying to say 'don't mistake our grievances with the districts with the needs of this levy," says Gokavi. "They all want them to pass it. I think the hope is at both sides is that if people are not happy with the way that they got to this impasses and this impending strike, that they take it out at the ballot box."
If the levy passes, it would cost the homeowner of a $100,000 house about $147 per year. Meanwhile, School district officials are preparing for the possibility of the strike. They say they will likely hire a private company to take care of the needs of the district in the meantime. The Xenia Community Schools Board of Education scheduled a special meeting tonight to discuss the impact of the potential strike.