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Public comment sought on draft Oak Harbor school levy

A draft Oak Harbor school replacement levy will be up for public discussion over the next two Mondays, giving community members two chances to comment on the proposal from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. April 16 and 23 in the school district office, located at 350 S. Oak Harbor St.

The replacement levy will bring in $6.8 million for schools, qualify for another $1 million in state matching funds and result in an estimated levy rate of $1.83. The current levy is set to expire at the end of 2013.

The public will have a chance to make comments in front of the school board. Details about the levy proposal can be found online at www.ohsd.net. Comments can also be sent to feedback@ohsd.net.

“This is still a long way from being finished,” Superintendent Rick Schulte said in a press release. “We’re hoping for a big turnout to hear from parents and members of the community about both the content of the levy and the amount.”

If approved by the school board in May, the levy will be up for a district-wide vote in February 2013.

“This proposal does not make up for all that has been lost due to state and federal budget cuts over the last four years,” Schulte said.  “But it is what needs to be done to keep Oak Harbor students from falling behind.”

Oak Harbor has lost 34 teachers in the last three years due to state cuts.  The new proposal returns 10 of those teachers, which will restore the 30 minutes a day lost at middle schools this year.

Likewise, there has been no textbook replacement for the last three years. The new proposal will provide funding for textbooks and computers.

With dwindling federal dollars through Impact Aid, Oak Harbor has cut after-school programs, athletics, and the late bus, which allows kids to stay after school for tutoring.

The new proposal will restore those activities and protect athletics, music and other after-school programs from further cuts.

 

 

 

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