The Canal Winchester Times

Groveport Madison schools

Meeting delayed until after levy recount

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Groveport Madison school officials are hoping enough votes can be found through a tally of provisional ballots and an automatic recount to change the district's levy request from a loss to a win.

Final unofficial results posted by the Franklin County Board of Elections May 7 show the levy was defeated by just 16 votes, a small enough difference to trigger an automatic recount.

The election-night count showed 1,613 votes in favor of Issue 14 and 1,629 votes against it.

There are also 27 provisional ballots still to be counted, according to a press release from the district.

In the meantime, the Groveport Madison Board of Education has postponed its monthly meeting for a second time. The regular date fell on May 9, but that was postponed until May 16. The district announced last week that the meeting is now scheduled for 7 p.m. May 23 at the junior high cafeteria, 751 Main St., Groveport.

If Issue 14 gains enough votes, the 7.08-mill levy will go into effect Jan. 1, 2014, and will cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $217 more in property taxes each year.

According to a five-year forecast presented to the Ohio Department of Education last year, the district is anticipating being in the hole by nearly $438,000 by June 30 and $4.7 million next year without the funds the levy would generate.

If the results of the election remain unchanged, Superintendent Bruce Hoover said the board will have to approve a financial stabilization plan that will involve about $4.5 million in budget cuts.

"It will include the redistricting and repurposing of the middle schools. It will also include reductions in teaching positions -- about 20 teaching positions across the district," he said on election night.

Hoover also indicated the stabilization plan will include reducing the number of team sports programs, the elimination of busing at the high school, a reorganized physical education program for kindergarten through eighth grade and a reduction in the number of media specialists.

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