May 8, 2002 at 6:11 PM EST - Updated July 28 at 4:00 PM
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Two-thirds of the 148 school issues on the ballot passed, including one in Defiance where students cleaned cutters, raked leaves and planted flowers to encourage residents to support a levy, the Department of Education said on Wednesday.
Of the nine issues decided by fewer than 100 votes, five passed and four failed, said department spokesman J.C. Benton. Voters in the Edgerton school district in northwest Ohio approved a 7.90-mill levy 694 to 656.
Voters in Defiance easily approved the 7.10 mill operating levy that will allow local schools to continue extra activities including sports.
In Granville, about 25 miles east of Columbus, voters rejected by a 2-to-1 ratio a levy that would have added $505 to local property taxes on a $100,000 house by 2005.
The levy would have raised about $4.4 million a year by 2005.
The money is needed to help with the district's growth. Since 1999, more than 400 children have moved into the Granville district.
In Grandview in suburban Columbus, 64 percent of voters rejected a levy that would have added $545 to local property taxes on a $100,000 home by 2005. The levy would have raised about $2.8 million annually for the Grandview Heights school district.
In northeast Ohio, voters in Kirtland local schools overwhelmingly approved a renewal tax that brings in nearly 7 percent of the district's $9.4 million annual budget, or $623,000.
The school district serves children in Kirtland, Kirtland Hills, Waite Hill and Willoughby.
In the Willoughby-Eastlake city schools, voters also easily approved a renewal tax that brings in $4.75 million annually, or about 8 percent of the district's $62 million budget. The school district serves children in Willoughby, Eastlake, Lakeline, Timberlake, Willowick, Waite Hill and Willoughby Hills.
In western Ohio, voters in Troy and Tipp City school districts passed separate levy renewals that the districts said were vital for school operations.
Voters in Newton local schools, however, overwhelmingly rejected a requested 0.75 percent income tax. The tax would have been in addition to a 1 percent income tax already on the rolls for the schools.
Newton schools are in Pleasant Hill, about 20 miles north of Dayton.
(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)