Winton Woods tax rejection means 45 teachers could lose their jobs

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CINCINNATI — A five-year Winton Woods emergency school levy was rejected in Ohio’s 2022 primary, and the results could be disastrous for teachers and district staff.

According to Winton Wood City Schools, failure to comply with the tax could result in the loss of approximately “45 teachers and staff, and many student programs.”

“These cuts would impact not only the student’s immediate education, but also their educational opportunities,” Winton Woods said in a post on his district website.

The levy was shot down Tuesday night with 72% voting against.

The emergency levy would have generated $3 million a year for operating expenses, including teaching services and maintaining opportunities for students.

“It would also provide funding for key identified areas of need, including sustaining our 5-star preschool and all-day kindergarten program, increasing enrollment, while adding additional school resource officers,” said Winton Woods.

Prior to 2022, Winton Woods said the last time an emergency levy was passed was in 2009 — which was also the last time the school district requested any kind of additional funding for operating expenses.

Recently elected Winton Woods board member Debra Bryant spoke about the royalty and value of providing health care services in schools.

“It really takes a village, and strategically we have a district that cares,” Bryant said. “The goal is to provide a clinic for all of our Warrior students, staff and families as well as members of the community. There are attributes of a real village.”

Agreeing with Bryant, newly elected board member Brand Smith also strongly supported the failure of the levy.

“Education is the key, and we must give our children the keys to the kingdom,” Smith said.

In addition to the approximately 45 teachers and staff, the athletic and fine arts departments at Winton Woods could suffer significant cuts.

Overall, in the Ohio elementary two out of three local school levies did not pass – in fact, the Reading School Levy is the only one to pass with a narrow 51% who voted yes. Besides the Winton Woods Levy, the Felicity-Franklin School Levy was defeated with 57% votes against. On the other hand, the majority of local security levies have been passed.

Going forward, Winton Woods notes that the lack of coverage for annual operating expenses will not only affect day-to-day education, but also future educational opportunities for students.

“Research shows that when schools cannot provide certain amenities for students, many students transfer and find those opportunities in other school districts,” Winton Woods said. “It is imperative that we keep all of our students engaged in project-based learning and prepare them to be ready for the future.”

RELATED
Here are the Ohio primary election results for local school and safety levies
Here are the 2022 Ohio, Indiana primary election results
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