LIMA — Shawnee Local School District voters will be asked for more money to help fund the school district.
The board of education met this week to take the first steps in putting a 4.48-mill levy on the November ballot.
They are also asking for the renewal of a five-year levy, which would bring in an estimated $2,150,000.
The exact millage will be determined by the Allen County Auditor’s office.
“I’ve been here for 14 months now, and during that entire time, we knew that there were some budgetary issues that we were facing. We’re operating right now on almost a $2 million deficit each year,” said Shawnee Superintendent James Kanable.
The school district has been anticipating this for a while.
“The main thing that’s impacted us is the result of the 2009 implementation of the reduction of personal tangible property tax, which hurt this district tremendously. We lost almost $3 million initially from that decision, now some of that we’ve made back up, but we’re still looking at almost $2 million shy of where we were on a yearly basis of collection of that money, and that’s what we’re essentially asking voters for is to make up that difference now. We survived on a carryover for a period of time, [but] we now are facing that decision as far as for the local voter to tell us as far as what we need to do as far as with our schools,” he said.
Some of the money raised by passage of the levy, equal to 0.5 of the 4.48 mills, would be used to help with school security.
“That will include at least the employment of two SROs [student resource officers] through our Shawnee Township Police Department to be housed in the middle school and high school buildings, along with funding that will be used for mental health services in conjunction with that dollar amount necessary to meet the 0.5 mill promise to the voters,” added Kanable.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.