By SHELLEY TERRY - firstname.lastname@example.org
With a levy on the ballot in May, the Ashtabula Area City School District's superintendent and levy chair-people, are asking supporters to attend a "Levy Kick-Off" celebration.
The Levy Kick-Off is at 6:30 p.m. March 12 at Lakeside High School.
Superintendent Patrick Colucci said the kick-off is a way to gather supporters, explain exactly why the levy is so crucial and let people know how they can help.
“We will be serving food, there will be entertainment and childcare will be available,” he said. “This levy is about our children and we need families to gather and work together for these children and this district.”
The school board unanimously voted in January to place the emergency levy on the May 7 ballot.
Treasurer William Hill said the millage the district is requesting has come down from 6.4-mills to 6.2-mills.
Colucci said the financial distress this school district faces is not different than other schools across the state.
If the levy passes in May, it will raise $2.7 million each year for five years, according to the resolution.
In the last five years the board of education has reduced more than $4 million from the operating budget, eliminating 103 positions, including 69 teachers.
School bus transportation has been reduced to the state’s minimum standards and students must pay for playing sports.
A 6.4-mills emergency tax levy for five years toward emergency requirements was on the Nov. 6 The result was 4,606 yes votes, or 43 percent, to 6,173 no votes, or 57 percent, according to the Ashtabula County Board of Elections.