The Pickerington Board of Education will hold a special meeting Monday morning, May 2, to discuss the possibility of placing a levy before voters during an August special election.

The Pickerington Board of Education will hold a special meeting Monday morning, May 2, to discuss the possibility of placing a levy before voters during an August special election.

The board will meet at 8:30 a.m. in the Pickerington Local School District's central office, 90 East St., to discuss the possibility of an Aug. 2 levy.

Should the board decide to proceed, another special meeting is tentatively scheduled for noon on Tuesday, May 3, at the central office. The purpose of the follow-up meeting would be to pass legislation with a specific levy amount, and to permit district treasurer Dan Griscom to present the levy proposal to the Fairfield County Board of Elections in time to meet the May 4 filing deadline for an Aug. 2 election.

Throughout this school year, board members and district officials have said a levy is needed to cover rising costs brought on by a growing student body, drops in local property tax collections, a lack of local job growth and Ohio Gov. John Kasich's plan to reduce state funding to the district from approximately $43.8 million in the 2010-11 school year to approximately $42.9 million in 2011-12.

This school year, the district is expected to spend up to $97.05 million for operations, but it expects to generate about $90.04 million in revenue.

The board in January approved approximately $13 million in cost reductions to balance the district's 2011-12 operations budget. The jobs of more than 100 teachers and staff members will be cut to save money, but board members and district officials say a levy still is needed to keep the district solvent.

Last November, PLSD voters rejected an 8-mill replacement levy that would have generated $7.586 million in new revenue.

Board members voted 3-2 on Jan. 31 to move forward with what would have been a 9.5-mill levy on May 3, but "no" votes by board President Lisa Reade and member Cathy Olshefski prevented the matter from having the "supermajority" of votes it needed to be placed on the May ballot.

The 9.5-mill levy would have generated approximately $10.14 million in new revenue for the district, had it passed, but Reade and Olshefski said they preferred to wait for an August special election. By then, they said, the district will have a better idea of how much funding it will receive in the two-year state budget and could put a more suitable levy before voters.

By moving forward in August, board members have maintained the district also would have another chance this year to pass a levy, should the special election effort fail. If that occurs, the district could try again to pass a levy in November, at which time more issues are expected to be on the ballot and the district's election costs would go down.

According to the Fairfield County Board of Elections, an Aug. 2 special election would cost the district up to $55,500. That's about $3,000 less than a May 3 election would have cost because two voting precincts in the school district will be consolidated by August.