CINCINNATI — A five-year emergency Winton Woods school levy was rejected in the 2022 Ohio primary, and the results could be dire for the district's teachers and staff.
Per Winton Wood City Schools, failure to pass the levy could result in the loss of approximately "45 teachers and staff members, and numerous student programs."
"These cuts would impact not only the student's immediate education, but also their educational opportunities," Winton Woods said in a post to its district website.
The levy was shot down Tuesday night with 72% voting against it.
The emergency levy would have generated $3 million annually for operational expenses, including instructional services and maintaining opportunities for students.
"It would also provide funding for key identified areas of need including the sustainability of our 5-star preschool program and all-day kindergarten, increased enrollment, while adding additional school resource officers," Winton Woods said.
Prior to 2022, Winton Woods said the last time an emergency levy was passed was 2009 — which was also the last time the school district asked for any type of additional funding for operating expenses.
Recently-elected Winton Woods board member Debra Bryant spoke on the levy and the value of providing health care services in schools.
"It really takes a village, and strategically, we have a district that cares," Bryant said. "The goal is to provide clinic for all of our Warrior students, staff and families as well as members of the community. There are attributes of a true village."
Agreeing with Bryant, newly-elected board member Brand Smith also heavily supported the failed levy.
"Education is key, and we have to give our children the keys to the kingdom," Smith said.
Other than the 45 or so teachers and staff members, the Winton Woods athletic and fine arts departments could see major cuts.
Overall in the Ohio primary, two out of three local school levies didn't pass — in fact, the Reading School Levy is the only one to pass with a narrow 51% that voted yes. Other than the Winton Woods levy, Felicity-Franklin School's levy was rejected with 57% voted against. On the flipside, majority of the local safety levies did pass.
Going forward, Winton Woods is noting that the lack of covering annual operating expenses will not only affect day-to-day education, but also future educational opportunities for students.
"Research shows, when schools cannot offer certain amenities to students, many students transfer and find those opportunities in other school districts," Winton Woods said. "It is imperative that we keep all of our students engaged in project-based learning and prepare them to be future ready."
Here are the Ohio primary election results for local school and safety levies
Here are the 2022 Ohio, Indiana primary election results
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