The Marysville school board and district administration have been saying for six weeks that passage of a new, 4-mill operating levy in November will allow for the reinstatement of some, but not all, of the budget cuts made in the past year.

The Marysville school board and district administration have been saying for six weeks that passage of a new, 4-mill operating levy in November will allow for the reinstatement of some, but not all, of the budget cuts made in the past year.

More cuts are in store if the levy fails.

The board intends to provide, in as much detail as possible, a list of which programs and services will be either reinstated or cut, during a special board meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Creekview Intermediate School.

Board members and the administration discussed proposals from Superintendent Larry Zimmerman at a work session before last Monday's regular board meeting. Most of the discussion centered on the new, 4-mill levy -- the district is also seeking replacement of an expiring 5-mill operating levy.

"If it passes," Zimmerman said of the 4-mill issue, "we have a pretty good idea of what we will get back."

If one of the levies doesn't pass, he said, "We'll have to make some serious and difficult decisions."

If approved, the 4-mill levy would generate approximately $2.8-million to maintain current program levels and provide for the reinstatement of some of the $4-million in cuts made following consecutive levy defeats.

On the table for reinstatement in Zimmerman's proposal are:

Approximately six to eight teachers.

The retention of staff, including conducting a marketing study on teacher compensation.

A principal in each building.

Restore reductions in textbooks/classroom supplies.

Restore tutoring positions.

Some increase in transportation services, with the minimum goal to reduce the length of current routes and add cluster stops.

Reduce pay-to-participate fees to $150, including transportation. The fees were recently raised to $150 plus transportation.

Restore cuts to middle school athletics.

Board member John Freudenberg wondered how specific the board could be regarding the placement of the teachers. Zimmerman said that the situation next year, when the six to eight teachers would be added, might be different than it is currently, making it difficult to say for sure. He did say that most of the cuts came from grades K-8, so he would look to add there first.

Zimmerman told ThisWeek that he would strongly consider reinstating some transportation services and reducing the pay-to-participate fee in the current school year, should the levy pass.

Zimmerman also presented a list of possible cuts if the levy fails:

Further reduction of teaching staff by 17 to 23 positions.

Further reduction of support staff (aides, office staff, etc.).

Further reduction in transportation -- no cluster stops for high school.

Reduce/eliminate middle school/freshman athletics.

Increase pay-to-participate fees to $400 plus transportation.

Eliminate crossing guards and the high school police officer.

Eliminate testing programs.

Close Raymond Elementary School for two years.

Eliminate non-mandated Gifted Education classes.

Eliminate K-6 library services.

Shorten the school day, which is currently two hours over the state minimum required day.

Zimmerman said the additional cuts of teaching positions would come from non-mandated programs and could result in the elimination of entire programs such as vocational agriculture, music and the like.

Board president Jeff Mabee said he wasn't sure how many families could afford the increased pay-to-participate fee, and wondered whether the board should entertain eliminating sports and other activities that require the fee.

Freudenberg and board member Tom Brower both indicated they would not support such a measure, adding that they're also not in favor of the higher fees.

Freudenberg called the list "ugly."

The 5-mill replacement levy would generate an additional $700,000 by restoring collection to the originally-passed millage rate. Because of Ohio's rollback law, the 5-mill levy passed in 2003 -- and set to expire at the end of this year -- is currently being collected at 4.27 mills for residential property owners and 4.29 for commercial/ industrial properties.

Zimmerman told ThisWeek those dollars also would be used toward maintaining current programs.

If that levy fails, it would mean the loss of approximately $3.2-million in revenue currently being collected. This means that cuts would have to go a bit deeper should the replacement levy fail but the new, 4-mill levy pass.

If both issues fail, the district faces $7-million in total new cuts, Zimmerman said.