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NORTHFIELD, OH – (May 14, 2018) – Nordonia Hills City School District’s Board of Education has voted to place a 6.98 mill operating levy on the upcoming November 6, 2018ballot. The levy will cost the owner of a $200,000 home approximately $41 per month.

If passed, the funding received from the levy will address improvements for the district in safety and security; make capital improvements on outdated and dilapidated school facilities and systems; and allow the district to maintain and enhance educational programs. Following an open forum meeting on March 7 with the Board and other community members, it is clear that augmented safety continues to be a top priority of the district at this time.

Currently, the district is finalizing a list of safety and security enhancements that will be implemented upon passage of the levy. These enhancements will range from items to increase the security of facilities to staffing that will address mental health concerns of students.

“In light of recent national events, the funding from the levy will be used, in part, to further strengthen the safety measures we have in place at our schools,” said Superintendent Dr. Joe Clark. “The district realizes the need for the increased focus on our children’s safety, and we are dedicated to aligning Nordonia with changing national school security standards.”

According to Karen Obratil, award-winning treasurer and CFO of Nordonia Hills City Schools, the levy comes at a critical time for the district. The district has seen funding reductions over the years due to Ohio’s elimination of the tangible property tax reimbursement, Ohio’s transfer of Nordonia funding to charter schools, and a recent reduction in funding from a corporate sponsorship.

“Due to the district’s fiscal responsibility and prudent management, Nordonia was able to extend the 2011 levy for seven years when it was only expected to last one year,” said Obratil. “This new operating levy is needed to make vital improvements to the district that otherwise may not be completed, and maintain the staffing necessary for our instructional program.”

Out of the 17 districts in Summit County, Nordonia has the third highest academic achievement and second lowest tax rate. Currently, Nordonia is one of only two districts in Summit County without a dedicated permanent improvement levy. All capital improvements must therefore come from the district’s general fund.

“All of the district’s buildings were last renovated in 2001, meaning the roofs and boilers are coming to the end of their lifespan,” said Matt Gaugler, business director. “Just as a house requires renovations, the district needs to maintain its systems. The levy will ultimately assist in this maintenance, in addition to facilitating needed safety and security enhancements.”

If the levy fails, the district would be forced to make cuts in other areas in order to make the necessary improvements to school facilities and to prioritize safety.

“We are lucky to have such a supportive community in Nordonia,” said Superintendent Clark. “We have been fortunate to not have to ask for new operating funds since 2011, but now it is necessary if we are to continue advancing the security of our schools and remaining competitive with neighboring districts in educational opportunities for students.”

Joe Clark, Ph.D.