Cuts To Come In December If Licking Heights Levy Fails

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Dozens of school districts are asking for more tax dollars in next week's election. But one community says its cuts will begin in less than 30 days, if voters say "no."

Every district with a levy on the ballot next week has outlined to parents just what is at stake should the levy fail.

But for parents like Brandy Eppley, it's the last few days to get the word out about the Licking Heights Local School District levy.

"It is very frightening, so I really hope that it passes," she said.

With two of her children in the district, Eppley said she was concerned about the students who could no longer have access to busing.

If the upcoming emergency operating levy does not pass, district officials said that they will no longer bus high school students beginning Dec. 3.

District Superintendent Philip H. Wagner said that the elimination of routes and firing of bus drivers will be required to balance the budget.

“The challenge for us is we have to balance the budget and so we would actually lay-off drivers, eliminate 18 routes in the morning and 18 in the afternoon and then we can start to recapture money to balance the budget.” Wagner explained.

Class sizes may also be affected by levy cuts.

According to the superintendent, the average class size now contains 25 students. However, if the levy does fail, the average class size will likely be 35 students.

The district says it will also be forced to lay-off more than 40 staff members. And the superintendent says there will be more deep cuts and they will happen fast.

And that frightens Eppley.

“It is going to affect our community; it is going to affect our children and everything around us,” she said.

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