Last updated: May 07. 2014 5:22PM - 362 Views
By Jane Beathard jbeathard@civitasmedia.com

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Jonathan Alder Local Schools Superintendent Gary Chapman was relieved, following Tuesday’s (May 6) primary election.

Unofficial results showed a half-percent district-wide tax increase on earned income passed 1,066 votes to 1,007, with all precincts counted. A .75 percent income tax was already on the books.

Chapman acknowledged Tuesday evening was a “nail-biter.”

It was a narrow, 59-vote margin of victory for levy supporters, but enough to put the district on better financial footing, following a year of layoffs and curtailed educational offerings.

“This district is blessed to value public education,” Chapman said. “It’s a win for our students.”

The additional tax will run seven years and goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2015. The district will receive its first payment in April 2015. It is expected to generate $1.3 million in new funds for Alder schools, according to the Ohio Department of Taxation.

But Chapman cautioned budgeting will remain tight through the 2014-15 school year.

“We will begin to restore services,” he said. “It won’t come all at once.”

Campaign literature said additional money will allow the Alder district to restore elective courses in language and technology.

Programs for gifted students will expand, as will tutoring and individual help for those struggling academically.

The district will add preschool classes and other early childhood education as demanded by Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee.

Money will also buy updated textbooks to support improved technology.

In a letter to the community on Wednesday, Chapman thanked all who supported the levy, including campaign organizers and volunteers.

“As a district, we pledge to continue to be fiscally responsible and good stewards of your investment in our schools,” he wrote. “Passage of this levy has truly been a team effort and as you might expect, we are excited about the futures of our students and Jonathan Alder Schools.”

Jane Beathard can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 16 or via Twitter @JaneBeathard.

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