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Published: Wednesday, 8/19/2009

Oregon school board says no to putting money issue on ballot

BLADE STAFF

Six days after taking the first step in asking voters to approve a 10-year emergency levy, the Oregon Board of Education by a 4-1 vote Wednesday decided against putting the measure to raise $3.6 million annually on the November ballot.

Yet additional taxpayer money eventually will be needed to maintain quality education, warned officials who already have cut costs by $7 million and jobs by 20 percent in the last three years.

We cannot continue to cut, and cut, and cut education in the community and not have an impact down the road, said board member Eric Heintschel.

Diane Karoly was the only board member who voted to put the 5.95-mill levy on the November ballot.

Voters this month overwhelmingly rejected the levy, which would have cost the owner of a house valued at $100,000 another $182 a year.

Such residents already pay nearly $1,163 a year in school taxes, according to the Lucas County auditor s office.

The school district in recent months has cut $3.5 million from its annual budget, including eliminating 32 teaching, 40 staff, and two administrative positions. It faces a $1 million deficit in the 2010-11 school year.



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