Howland school board approves spring levy - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Howland school board approves spring levy

HOWLAND TWP., Ohio - Howland school board members vote unanimously to place an emergency levy on the May 6 ballot.

Balancing a budget that doesn't take a bite out of learning is becoming tougher for the district to do.

During the past three years, Howland has cut 37 staff members including teachers, support staff and administrators. Superintendent John Sheets tells 21 News that more cuts could be around the corner if additional tax dollars are not brought in to support the bottom line.

"Quite honestly, any cuts in programming is going to effect education," Sheet says.

Sheet says the district has seen cuts in funding by about $2 million in recent years.

Without new tax dollars, Sheets says more teaching jobs could be at stake, pay to play could cost more and the district might have to put the breaks on some of its busing services.

"Currently we are a door to door transportation system, so I'm sure we will consider scaling back transportation," Sheet says.

The 10-year 3.9 mills levy, would generate $2 million annually. If voters approve, it would cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $136 a year.

If the levy passes, Sheets says the district is looking at upgrading textbooks and technology used by students. While the district has one resource officer on staff, having another officer on staff and increasing security inside and outside school buildings is another area where Sheets sees room for improvement.

"We would look at our facilities, our entrances, our doors, those type of things," he says.

Offering all-day kindergarten is also on the district's wish-list. Sheets says Howland is one of two school district in Trumbull County that doesn't offer all-day kindergarten.
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