The Blade/Jetta Fraser
With a child about to enter kindergarten in Perrysburg School district, Justin Tucholski hoped the passage of a recent large levy would have meant kindergarten wouldn't be so costly.
The district charges parents if they chose a full-day kindergarten option. Despite the levy's passage, parents who chose the full-day option will still get a bill for the classes, on top of increased property taxes.
The 13.15-mill levy will generate $10 million in the first year. The tax will increase to an estimated 14.4 mills in the second year, 15.7 mills in the third year, and 17 mills in the fourth and final year. It will cause significant increases in property taxes for residents.
"Everyone watched their property taxes go up a whole bunch," Mr. Tucholski, 31, said, "and it's kind of discouraging that they are still charging for kindergarten."
Districts aren't required to provide full-day kindergarten, and can charge parents a fee for full-day classes if offered. Perrysburg provides a limited number of slots for full-day kindergarten, and this year charges $285 a month for the classes.
Perrysburg Superintendent Tom Hosler said Mr. Tucholski's concerns aren't unique. The levy's passage brought requests from parents for reductions in costs for some services, or changes in practices, such as moving a bus stop to accommodate a family.
"I understand those parents and their frustration," Mr. Hosler said.
The problem with full-day kindergarten, Mr. Hosler said, is both of cost and space. There's not enough room to accommodate full-day kindergarten classes at some of the district's elementary schools for every student. If Perrysburg went to full-day kindergarten, the district would have to either purchase portable classrooms at significant cost, or bus some kindergartners to schools other than their neighborhood elementary.
Busing students would have both a cost and would be disruptive to families, Mr. Hosler said.
"We understand, and wished we had a solution to make everyone happy," he said.
Mr. Tucholski said he isn't opposed to Perrysburg schools asking for more money, and believes the district has good schools, but said he is just concerned that the costs will be a burden on middle-class residents.
Kindergarten roundups for Perrysburg schools begin next week. The roundups will be held at the district's Central office, 140 E. Indiana Ave. Frank Elementary school's roundup will be Feb. 5, Woodland's Feb. 6, Toth's Feb. 7, and Fort Meigs' Feb. 8. Families with last names beginning A through L are asked to come between 8 a.m. and noon, while those with last names beginning M through Z are asked to come between 1 and 4 p.m.
Contact Nolan Rosenkrans at: email@example.com or 419-724-6086.