Cuts pending despite levy passage

FOSTORIA – “We have a strong community that are behind us, and now it is our jobs to manage the funds efficiently the best we can,” Fostoria City Schools Superintendent Andrew Sprang said Wednesday about the passing of an 8.15-mill substitute tax levy.

Voters approved the levy for the schools Tuesday by 59 percent, according to unofficial results. Residents voted 578-401 in favor of the levy.

The levy is to provide necessary requirements of the school district, including staffing; new classes and programs; interventions, such as Project MORE and STEM programs; online testing; resources and materials, such as text books and technology; training; library and lab materials; and general operating expenses.

“Our district can continue to provide a quality education for our kids,” Sprang said.

Representatives from the Ohio Department of Education visited the district in April, Sprang said, in order to discuss ways to approve the district’s curriculum to receive a higher report card rating.

The ODE report is to be given at the end of May or early June, Sprang said.

He said the district isn’t able to bring back any programs or services it had cut in the past, and is looking to apply additional cuts.

“Even though the levy passed, we are looking to trim our budget,” Sprang said.

The Holmes Administration Building, at 500 Parkway Drive, might be closed to save on utility and cleaning costs for the district, Sprang said. Administrators are moving to the junior/senior high school building, at 1001 Park Ave.

With passage of the levy, the district is to continue to receive $1.8 million annually. For the owner of a $100,000 home, the cost would be $249.69 yearly, or 68 cents a day.

The levy replaces a 8.55-mill, five-year emergency levy approved by voters as a 7.55-mill levy in 2009.

“We are just very thankful to the community. It is nice to see them rally behind our schools and support us and the kids,” Sprang said.