By Sue Kiesewetter
DEERFIELD TWP. - Jack Catanzaro was curious about how Ohio funds its schools.
It's why he joined nearly 50 other residents of the Kings Local School District Wednesday for an hour-long question-and-answer session about school funding in Ohio and the 4.9-mill operating levy Kings voters will decide Nov. 2.
"School funding is a difficult thing for everyone to understand,'' Superintendent Charles "Chuck" Mason said before showing a 19-minute program on the topic. "There are a lot of pieces to this puzzle.''
The Kings levy would bring about $3.2 million annually to district coffers, raising taxes about $150 annually on a $100,000 house.
"It answered my questions, but it didn't sway me,'' Catanzaro said. "I'm still undecided.''
For the first time in the history of the Kings Schools, the district reduced staff to balance its budget, Mason said.
About $2 million in cuts - including eight teaching positions, three technology positions and decreasing the custodial staff by one person in each building - were made.
If the levy is defeated, additional teaching positions will be cut.
Mason said that could mean that class size in the district's elementary schools would increase by an average of three to five students, and fewer elective classes would be offered at the high school.
Parent Murry Feldstein said he left the meeting wanting more specific information about Kings.
He said funding was more confusing than he thought.
"I'm still undecided,'' said Feldstein, who moved to Kings about a year-and-a-half ago. "I'll go home do the math and determine if the extra money is worth it.''
Election 2004 page
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