Upper Arlington Schools Did Not Plan For Levy Failure

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Upper Arlington City Schools officials said that they did not plan for specific cuts should their levy fail at the ballot – which it did.

The last time a levy failed in the city was the late 1980s. Yesterday, voters turned down Issue 51, a 5.8-mill operating levy, by 55 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results.

Parents in Upper Arlington said that they had come to count on two things: a great education and voter support to keep it that way.

“Living in Arlington, I would say we expected that it would pass and (are) pretty disappointed that it didn’t,” said Chris Bracken, a father of two elementary-age students.

Educate UA, the group opposed to the levy, gained momentum this election year.

The group that campaigned in favor of the levy said that it thought it had found some common ground.

“We looked at the senior vote, which is very strong here,” said Chris Yerington, co-chair for the pro-levy group Citizens for UA Schools. “We met with them several times, our superintendent met with them several times. Our treasurer met with several groups, including the opposition group half a dozen times early on.”

Despite the opposition, the district did not offer up a list of cuts should the levy fail.

“We felt that given our past success, the fact that it has been five years since we have had a levy, that we would not do that,” Superintendent Jeffrey Weaver said.

Now, the district has to decide what to cut and where.

“This is the reason we moved here,” Bracken said. “They have an excellent educational system and school system, and I think a lot of things are on the table, so I think it’s just up in the air.”

Upper Arlington officials said that it was uncertain when it would make decisions on what to cut.

The district also has not decided whether it would return to voters.

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