Issue 73: Voters defeat Parma City Schools levy

The district wanted to use the funds to build new schools and make other capital improvements.

Issue 73: Voters defeat Parma City Schools levy
A levy that would have raised funds for new school buildings was defeated Tuesday 54 to 46 percent. (Source: WOIO)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Voters defeated a bond issue on Tuesday that would have raise $271 million for the Parma City schools.

The levy failed 54% to 45%, according to numbers from the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.

The bond issue would have increased property taxes by nearly $19 a month per $100,000 of home value, according to the superintendent’s office.

Issue 73 would have built brand new campuses to house sixth through 12th graders at the current site of both Valley Forge and Normandy High Schools.

The district also wanted to use levy capital for improvements to the current Parma High School, which would no longer be open as a high school, but would house the district’s administrative offices.

"We have a day to kind of feel sorry for ourselves and lick our wounds,” said Parma Superintendent Charles Smialek, “Then we move on, quite frankly, because our kids have moved on and our families are moving on.”

Issue 73: Voters defeat Parma City Schools levy

Some voters, Smialek believes, may still be angry and distrustful after the district was placed in fiscal caution by the state of Ohio over four years ago.

However, the district has subsequently been removed from fiscal caution, and the administrators who led the district at the time of those financial issues are no longer working for the schools.

Smialek said the district will consider approaching voters with a levy plan in the next election cycle.

“We continue to owe it to our students and our families to ask our voters to support what we believe our students need and deserve,” Smialek said.

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