North Canton School District Plans Levy for May 7

The Board of Education agreed to ask voters for a 2.4 mill levy in May, which would be used to improve the district's buildings and buses

Voters in North Canton now have a school levy to consider on the May ballot.

The Canton Repository recently reported the North Canton Board of Education approved a 2.4-mill permanent improvement levy for the ballot on May 7.

The continuous levy would generate about $1.44 million annually and cost the owner of a $100,000 home $73 per year, according to the Canton Repository.

You can read the newspaper's full report here.

“Our infrastructure is in serious need of attention, but there are limited funds to address this issue,” Superintendent Michael Hartenstein told the Akron Beacon Journal last week. “We are also behind on technology. We must give our students a 21st century education with 21st century tools.” 

The Canton Repository reported that the money will not go toward staff salaries, which is usually done through a general-operating tax.

jim January 23, 2013 at 03:32 PM
Well we put $ in the schools right pocket a few elections ago and now they want $ for their left pocket. The tax load in NC is getting abusive. This is a NO vote from this tapped out taxpayer particularly since this is a permanent levy. This levy is a want not a need issue. There is a high percentage of NC household s making do with what they have and the schools can learn to do the same.
Ann Marie January 23, 2013 at 04:53 PM
NO! I am tired of NC schools continually crying broke. Live within your means just like we have to. Cut back on your bloated administration! Some of your own employees are complaining about how you waste the taxpayers money. I continually vote NO on all school levies and am forced to pay because most of NC citizens vote yes. I am sick of paying such high property taxes. You school officials should be ashamed of yourself. Another levy passes and my property taxes are going to be higher than my mortgage payment. Also if you do not own a home in NC, meaning if you rent you should not be able to vote on these school levies. You pay no property tax!
Diane January 23, 2013 at 05:19 PM
Ann Marie - renters DO pay property taxes - it's part of their rent!
Ann Marie January 23, 2013 at 07:15 PM
Our property taxes have increased 1000% in the last 30 years, has your rent? The Ohio Supreme Court ruled years ago that funding schools through property taxes is unconstitutional but nothing has been done! If this funding was through a sales tax the rate would be so high the public would demand this bloated bureaucracy be cut back to the essentials of education. If the education of the children is the priority that everyone is claiming, then everyone should pay!!!
jim January 23, 2013 at 08:40 PM
Diane Renters’ mentalities are that they do not really pay taxes so they often vote for all tax issues. Also taxes are so high now that many feel they will never own a home so what the heck. Also taxes on a rental property are a deductible expense for the landlord, not a straight out of pocket expense as is the case for the home owner.
jim January 23, 2013 at 08:51 PM
Ann Marie Right on. I understand that we all chip in for schools. However this has gotten ridiculous. People with no children and those who have paid their dues sending their kids to school (in the pre bully education union lobby era) are getting abused by a section of society that wants more icing on the school cake. Notice how the school political leaders did not dare put this on the fall ballot when more of a cross section of voters would turn out. Oh no, they plot for a light turn out spring election when they can rally the teachers and parents to get to the polls.
Diane January 23, 2013 at 09:48 PM
I do not rent. I have before. And to rent a house was far more expensive than to pay a mortgage. But that aside, I resent anyone who thinks a renter's vote is less valuable than a homeowner's. A renter is impacted greatly by a levy. And whether or not this district passes a levy, makes the much needed improvements to it's security, buildings, and technology is going to decide if that renter buys a home in your neighborhood. Think about that. You're worred about an extra $6 a month for every $100k in value that technically you should have been paying long ago, but our previous administration ignored. I'd be more worried about when every house in the neighborhood for sale, sits empty, abandoned, and criminalized. Because those renters will head on over to Plain Local where every child has a device in their hands and are being prepared to meet the needs of the outside world.
jim January 24, 2013 at 01:42 AM
I get so sick of pro tax people justifying taxes with the line about it is only so much a day, a week, a month and so on. Are they so dense that they do not see all these taxes adding up to thousands of dollars? There is nothing wrong with the buses and buildings that is a justification for a new big permanent levy. If people want to send their kids to the Plain school system they have my blessing.
Ann Marie January 24, 2013 at 04:18 AM
People need to google "Buckeye Institute" and look at the salaries of North Canton City School employees. There are salaries that are into the $60s, $70s, $80s, $90s and they say it is for the children. This is where your money is going people. Bad enough this school system wants another levy but to put it on the May ballot when they know alot of people do not vote is underhanded.
jim January 24, 2013 at 12:38 PM
Ann Marie The annual salary for a 7-8 hour a day 180+- day contract is just part of the package. Someone in the $60K range is costing the taxpayer more like 100K with the medical plan and retirement expenses folded in. It is not uncommon for a teaching staff member to cost the tax payers $100 an hour to stand in front of our kids to teach and this myth of the poor teacher exists.
Jennifer R. January 24, 2013 at 01:01 PM
Jim, do you have a child in the school system? If not, how do you know there is nothing wrong with the buses or buildings that are used? I have 3 children in the school system and understand the need for upgrades and fixes. Our buildings are old and our buses break down. My youngest rode 3 different buses due to 2 buses breaking down while picking up children. Perhaps, we could have avoided this with needed upgrades or fixes. Also, having attended the Safety and Security meeting, I understand the need for better security. The buildings are in desperate need of security measures. I'd certainly pay the levy amount just for those changes. It costs my family of 5 approximately $70 to go out to dinner. I can forgo one of those a year to transfer that money to support our school buses and buildings. The levy has nothing to do with administration/staff salaries. Of course we are not dense! No one person can pay for all of the needed fixes. Renovating and upgrading buses, security, technology, and buildings does not come cheap. In the same mentality as "if people want to send their kids to the Plain school system they have my blessing," I can argue that if you do not support the school levy (which is your right) and do not like the amount of money you are spending in NC, you can move elsewhere. Please take some time to talk with teachers/administrators to find out the facts of the needs in the district. You may be surprised by what you see/hear!
Hanrahan January 24, 2013 at 01:03 PM
Google, 'buckeye institute', go in and look at the pay of NC school employees. Arrange the pay from high to low. Their pay does not include benefits and is based, in most cases on working 185 days a year. They pay very little into their medical coverage. Now consider that they can retire with 30 years and in some cases, get over 80% of that pay, plus raises and medical coverage for life. With all of that in mind, how could anyone vote to increase their taxes to give the school system more money? I do understand that this levy would not generate revenue for staff salaries, but from a taxpayer standpoint, it's all money going to the school. NC is a great school system with great employees, but their pay and benefit arrangement is too advantageous for the employees. They need to get that under control before they ask for more of my money. I'm not saying to cut anyone's pay, but a couple year pay freeze and gradually increasing the amount they pay into their medical coverage to 25% of the cost, would save the district enough money that they wouldn't need this levy. Additionally, if the teacher's union and the SERS want to keep the early retirement situation and the very high percentage of pay employees receive in retirement, there needs to be massive reform, including higher employee contributions. It's a shame we can't afford to offer the generous pay and benefits that we have in the past, but in our current economic situation, we are all trying to do more with less.
jim January 24, 2013 at 03:49 PM
Jennifer Only in America would someone like you look at a 35 year old well-built brick school like our high school and say it is old and needs replaced. A bus breaks down once and a while; so what? Our cars break down once and a while and most of us cannot just go out and buy a new one. I am involved with children in the school system and have not witnessed lots of busses on the side of the road like you describe. It might be a good life lesson if one did. It teaches a kid that the world is not perfect and when a bus stops you get on another one and keep going in life. We cannot pay a price tag for perfect. I do talk to and observe teachers and administrators and it is not making me sympathetic to shelling out more money to the school system. The system has plenty of money to work with it is a matter of what where the money is going.
Diane January 24, 2013 at 04:48 PM
Jim, I encourage you to contact the district business manager and request information pertaining to our busses. A spreadsheet showing the age and mileage of our busses, along with our ability to pass inspections might change your mind. The last time we purchased busses, we purchased them used. While you are at it, ask them about the last time we bought computers for the district. They came from a Columbus suburb district, used, already 5 years old. Don't stop there. Volunteer to help them reduce costs for manual labor to install the security vestibules they are currently working on. These include doors and supplies already owned by the district straight out of the building on Charlotte. Repurposing at it's best. How do I know this? It is public information. I completely respect your vote, but I also encourage people to find out the facts before professing what they think they know about our property and ability to maintain it. An educated vote is a responsible one. You can look at buckeye institute, that's a start. But if you stop there you are missing the real need. I personally, don't want my child sitting on the side of the road, thanks.
jim January 24, 2013 at 05:00 PM
Boo Hoo my bus is not new! So what if not ALL the buses were purchased new. I have purchased many used vehicles and they can be a great value especially if you are on a limited budget which the school system should be on. My computer is a used one turned in by a large corporation that gets the latest and greatest ever couple years. It is just fine for a home office and a good used computer is just fine for some grade schoolers to look up a bio of George Washington on. Want to free up some $ for school computers? Consolidate some of these director of this and director of that positions in the school system. I do look at many sources of information on the schools. You see it through your lens and I though mine.
Diane January 24, 2013 at 06:47 PM
I actually do see a lot of it from your point of view. I believe we may just see some changes in personnel. My point was not to say they should purchase new busses. My point was that they were making wise choices. The fact is, so many rushed to vote no on SB 5, the teacher salary and benefits issue sits squarely in the taxpayers pockets. I don't ever see it changing.
jim January 24, 2013 at 07:10 PM
It is in the taxpayer pocket to pay but without much say. The union salary and benefits issue is a rigged game. Practically speaking one side of the negotiating table really has little power to say no. This is because the education union lobbies have coerced legislators to set up the bargaining/arbitration system to favor the union. It is like the old expression about paying whatever price they want as long as you can name the terms. There are however things that can be done even under these circumstances if the people/person in charge has the back bone to do it. You mentioned one of personnel changes.Look for the player on the school side of the chess board to make a token nickel dime change to boast they sacrificed and now we should up our tax $100 a year more.
James May 20, 2013 at 10:41 PM
The whole funding system with schools needs fixed, make sure everyone pays their fair share like in Pennsylvania where it comes out of your weekly or biweekly paychecks based on the address on your driver's license (simple fix) and property tax is still a separate tax. As a school district, you either spend the money you get by the end of the year or lose it, which breeds wasteful and inefficient spending practices. They need to budget for inflation and keep teacher's salaries and benefits in check with the private sector. I'm just glad this school actually teaches kids how to read and pass the proficiency tests. Imagine funding a school in academic and fiscal emergency and you then have to send your kids to a $10 to 20K+ a year private school plus pay taxes to a poorly functioning public school system. Think about that for a moment.
jim May 21, 2013 at 10:25 AM
James Funding for school is messed up. Elderly who have paid enormous amounts in property taxes, way beyond what it cost to educate their kids, are shouldering an unfair share. There needs to be a cap on how much a person has to pay for school taxes at which point the tuition comes from the parents. Taking $ from a tax payer’s left pocket, (payroll) and from their right pocket, (property) is not a solution. Getting spending under control by throttling the education unions and government regulations will.


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