Parma schools superintendent, after levy fails: 'We closed a lot of programs'

School Levy Fails Fallout
Source: WOIO
Source: WOIO

PARMA, OH (WOIO) - All but two local school levies in Cuyahoga County passed Tuesday.

Residents in Parma yet again voted down a money issue. That will result in more cuts in jobs and classes, says Superintendent Carl Hilling.

"We are under fiscal caution," he said. "We had to balance the budget for 2016-2017 and 2017-2018."

Even with that daunting task staring the district in the face, residents in the Parma School District voted down the 5.9 mill levy on Tuesday by a margin of 60 percent to 39 percent.

"We've already cut, made mid-year cuts this year, and we have other additional staff leaving at the end of the year. We closed a lot of programs, which hurts the kids and hurts the staff." Hilling said. "Actually, I think it also hurts the district's reputation."

The district is mandated by state law to balance its budget, so 18 teachers have been cut, 13 home liaison or academic coaches no longer have jobs, and non-credit classes including music and drama were cut.

"We cut across the board. We cut administrators. We cut staff. We cut custodians. We cut maintenance. There are still some positions that are not filled," Hilling said.

Cuts are taking place at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.

The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled four times that the way the state funds education is unconstitutional.

Parma, a city of some 80,000 people, is undergoing a demographic change. Hilling says within the next decade a younger population will take control.

Copyright 2017 WOIO. All rights reserved.