TPS leaders: Levy renewals are "vital" to district operations

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Buses, computers, and textbooks are all a part of a normal school day for most Toledo Public Schools students.

Over the past decade district leaders say all have been funded in part by two levies. Come November both will be due for renewal and administrators hope taxpayers will keep them going.

"We feel pretty confident that we're going to be able to renew these levies because of the good work we've done over a good number of years," said school board president Polly Taylor-Gerken.

The first levy is for 10 years at 6.8 mills, while the other is for 5 years at 5.8 mills. Leaders say both will go toward funding daily operations and won't cost additional money.

"They won't increase anyone's taxes because they will still be based on 2013 property values," said Taylor-Gerken. "So they're really a continuation of the money that the community has already entrusted to us."

On top of day-to-day operations, TPS leaders say the levies also fund more than 30 career-tech options and more than 200 internship programs.

"I want to see things better for the schools--for our children--because we need a lot of things done to help the kids in school," said Toledo resident Renita James.

James has multiple grandkids enrolled in TPS and is happy with the way the district has used her money.

While she plans to vote in favor of both renewals, she also wants more funding put toward after school programs.

"If they have things to do after school that means they have less things to do on the streets," said James.

With continued voter-support in November, district leaders say it's possible more programs could come for students as the steady funding will help things move forward.

"It's pretty evident in the community—the momentum that we've had," said Taylor-Gerken. "I don't think anybody wants to see us, like, lose momentum. It's just a matter of renewing them."

If both levies are approved district leader say they won't have to go to voters again until 2022 when another levy is due for renewal.

If one or both fail, TPS will go back to the ballot in 2019 and cuts could be possible.