CLARKSVILLE — Clinton-Massie’s future after the failure of the November levy dominated Tuesday’s school board meeting.
During the meeting, the board approved the 2018-2019 school year cost savings which included a possible reduction of two teaching positions. They also looked to either have a five-year, 0.25 percent earned income tax or a five-year, 0.5 earned income tax for the May 8 election.
Clinton-Massie Local Schools voters defeated the recent levy 1,457-761.
If it had passed, the yearly tax for locals with $100,000 residential property owners would’ve increased by $203. The plan was to use the money to hire/retain staff through competitive salaries, expand all-day kindergarten, and the new agricultural education elective as a full-day program which would allow them to start an FFA program.
Dann Sternsher, a computer technology teacher at Clinton-Massie High School, believes there’s a general distrust from the overall community.
“This is not directed at any particular person or board member. When I speak about the board, I talk about the board along with previous members,” he said.
Sternsher cited the previous 10 different members elected in the last six years and the number of superintendents the district has had.
“I think that kind of turnover creates a lot of instability in people’s minds,” he said. “I think that creates a lot of hesitation to move forward with support.”
District school nurse Cindy Stenger said she was saddened by the levy failure. She said she understands the board has big decisions to make, but she requested they take a moment a look at what would be cut and who it could impact.
Board President Jeremy Lamb said there’s a lot of soul-searching to find the right path forward.
“It’s this board’s job to make some tough decisions that nobody wants to make. But we’ve got to think about what’s the best thing for the kids and we’re going sacrifice a bit of that here and there to maintain this district’s identity,” Lamb said.
He stated he’s very willing to listen to public feedback and thinks community forums would be a good way to show what’s going on at the schools, and what’s needed.
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574