The Field Local Schools Board of Education is considering how large the levy on the May ballot will be, and will make its decision on Feb. 4.
The school board voted Monday to send three separate millage amounts to Portage County Auditor Janet Esposito, who will certify the dollar amount each would generate for Field schools, if approved by voters.
The three millage amounts the board will consider on Feb. 4 are a three-year, 5-mill operating levy; a three-year, 5-mill operating levy packaged with a 1.5-mill permanent improvement levy; and a three-year, 6.5 mill operating levy.
Field Treasurer James Vocak said the district needs at least five mills to keep the schools running with the currently provided services and education.
"The five mills would bring us to the point where we still have a small deficit, but it'd be very manageable," he said. "We could eke by with maintaining the current operating status of the school district."
After cutting $1.5 million from its operating budget in two years, the district is facing the decision of how to cut another $900,000 from its budget to balance the 2014 budget if the next levy fails.
The previous levy attempt in November, a 3-mill operating levy packaged with a 2-mill permanent improvement levy, marked Field Local Schools' fourth failed levy attempt in a row.
The district now has to increase the millage for the next ballot attempt to make up for a lost year of tax collections that would have come from a successful levy. Superintendent Beth Coleman said the district has about 45 days to submit its recovery plan to the state, which includes any cuts it has to make to stay out of the red if the levy fails.
Brandi Roberts and Gail Cole, two audience members at Monday's board meeting, urged the board to let the school district go into state control if another levy fails in May.
"Please do not make any more cuts to our children's education if the upcoming levy fails," said Roberts, a Field graduate and mother of three Field students. "I'm not for this in any way other than the fact that if my community cannot come together to pass a bare-bones 5-mill levy, and cannot pass the next levy, then I feel it is time to let it go to the state."
Contact this reporter at 330-298-1127 or firstname.lastname@example.org