All eyes will be on the May 4 election as Reynoldsburg voters will head to the polls to vote on a school levy.
"We are in desperate need of funds," Board President Mary Burcham said. "We are hearing what they (voters) are saying. We are reacting to what they are saying."
The May 4 ballot will ask voters for a 6.9-mill incremental levy to fund operations for the schools. The proposal starts at 6.9 mills and increases by 1 mill every year for three years, ending in a 9.9-mill permanent levy.
If passed, taxpayers would pay an additional $211 per year in the first year for every $100,000 in property value, with a $30 increase each year to $303 in the fourth year of collection.
Board Member Elaine Tornero disagreed with putting a levy on the ballot this May, stating that even though the community passed a bond issue in 2008 to build a second high school and seventh elementary school, residents may not realize a levy is needed to operate those schools, nor may be able to afford the added expenses.
"There is a distrust in the community about the schools now," she said. "The community doesn't differentiate a bond from a levy. When is enough enough? People say their wallets do not know the difference between a bond and a levy."
After 15 years without an increase in local operating taxes, the district has made more than $20 million in cuts during the past five years and identified another $3 million for the next school year.
Cuts were previously made by eliminating art, music and physical education in grades Kindergarten through six, reducing busing for elementary and middle schools, cutting busing for high school students, ending financial support of extra-curricular athletics and reducing administrative, teaching, clerical and custodial staff.
"This school levy is about our community," said Loretta King, who is co-chairwoman of the committee in support of the levy.
No matter the outcome in May, District Treasurer Tammy Miller said the board still plans to cut $3 million from the budget for next year.
Tornero, however, says it's still too soon to go back to voters.
"We've made a lot of cuts," she said. "Regardless, the community still feels as they do and the economy still is what it is. To throw it back on in May is just too soon."
Resident Jim Rodenmayer spoke to the board in March encouraging the community to vote for the levy.
"Reynoldsburg community has a choice," he said. "We know the choice to vote for this levy will be difficult because these are difficult times."