Troy schools levy fails

TROY — Troy voters turned down the 0.25 percent earned income tax request from Troy City Schools, which would have raised $2 million per year if it was approved.

There were 8,499 votes against the tax (54 percent) and 7,364 votes for the tax (46 percent).

“While we are disappointed in the final outcome, we understand this is how the democratic process works,” according to the statement provided by Superintendent Chris Piper. “However, this does not take away the financial needs of this district, particularly when you consider the $1.7 million in cuts to state funding we have received over the past two years, along with the anticipated cuts that are yet to come. The need in this district remains very real. We will continue to tighten our belts and look for ways to cut costs in ways that do not affect students, but that will become increasingly difficult to do.”

Board President Tom Kleptz said, “Obviously we are disappointed that it failed. The board and administration will sit down and figure out what we are going to do next. With the $1.7 million in loss of state funds, that doesn’t disappear.”

Kleptz said the district was “open throughout the process” and would find means to pay for programs and where to cut back on its services.

“I feel sorry for the kids. Our job is to provide a quality education for them and to figure out a way to get it done,” Kleptz said.

The 0.25 earned income tax would have raised $2 million per year if passed for general operating costs.

The district currently has a continuous 1.5 percent income tax. The district already has cut 15 positions from its staff, saving approximately $1 million. The district’s staff have agreed to a salary freeze for the 2020-2021 school year and slashed its supply and materials budget by $600,000.

Some of the cuts Troy City Schools has proposed pertained to all-day kindergarten, nurses and school counselors in each building, high school student transportation, transportation for students who live up to 2 miles from school, co-curricular and extracurricular programs, and its wide variety of elective courses.

The Troy City Schools Board of Education will meet at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 9 at Troy Junior High School.