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Oak Hills: 50 Jobs on the Line with Levy Vote

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Published on Oct 30, 2013

CINCINNATI (Joe Webb) -- The Oak Hills Local School District administration says it will be forced to cut 53 jobs, most of them teachers, if voters dont pass next weeks tax levy. For the second time this year, Oak Hills is asking voters to approve a 5-year, 4.82 mill emergency operating levy. A similar levy was voted down last May.Today I think there is more of an awareness, Superintendent Todd Yohey told Local 12. There is more of a sense of urgency of how important the levy is to not only our students but our entire community.Yohey says increased costs and state funding cuts will force the district to make dramatic cuts unless it gets the $5.2 million dollars a year the levy would bring in. The cuts would include 20 teachers at Oak Hills High School, 24 middle school teachers, 5 janitors, a psychology assistant and a high school administrator. The district says it would have to raise participation fees to $75 per sport with no family cap. Cuts would eliminate the music program at one middle school and physical education programs at all three middle schools. Yohey says the cuts would increase class size and reduce classroom cleaning to once or twice a week. Those losses in teachers and staff will significantly impact what we do in our classrooms.The levy would raise the property taxes on a $100-thousand dollar home about $168 and year. Professionally printed Vote Yes signs are visible all along Green Township and Delhi Townships busiest streets. On Ebenezer Road, just a few blocks from Oak Hills High School, sits a lonely, handmade Vote No, Again sign. Bob Gutekunst has lived in the house since 1975. He says he cant support any new taxes. I just think taxes go up, up, up, up and up and theres no cuts and we need to cut. Thats about it.Yohey says the district has made significant cuts including a 40% cut in the central office. He says the big picture has little to do with taxes. When you look at factors like home values and the time a house is on the market before it sellsthose things can be directly correlated to the quality of the public school district.Oak Hills Local schools has 5 elementary schools, 3 middle schools and one high school. The district has about 8,200 students.

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