Kettering School District breathes easier since levy passed

Kettering School District breathes easier since levy passed

Photo: Jessica Smith

Kettering school officials feel the district’s Excellent with Distinction rating helped their efforts to get the levy passed.

By Stephanie Taylor, Staff Writer

If you listened closely on Wednesday, Nov. 3, you might have heard a huge sigh of relief coming from Fairmont High School or one of the district’s two middle schools and eight elementary schools. That’s because Kettering voters approved a new five-year, 4.9-mill operating levy on Tuesday, Nov. 2.

 The unofficial final count was 12,232 for and 10,701 opposed to the levy. The district had failed to pass a 6.9-mill levy in May, but it made cuts and came back to the voters with the smaller amount.

If the levy had failed this time, Kettering officials said busing, teaching positions, sports, music and other extracurriculars would be in jeopardy for 2011-12 year. Dr. James Schoenlein, Kettering superintendent, said the district doesn’t expect to be back on the ballot for at least three years.

Dan VonHandorf, Kettering Fairmont High School principal, is very happy that the levy passed this time. “I’m thrilled to death that the community supports us,” he said.

With the levy passing, Kettering residents will pay $12 more a month for a $100,000 home. However, school officials assure Kettering residents that their money is being used responsibly. District staff will have a 0 percent base pay increase for the 2011-12 school year. “The Kettering staff realizes this is still a recession, and no one will get a raise,” VonHandorf said.

The Kettering City School District also received a state report card rating of Excellent with Distinction for the 2009-10 year, which school officials used as one of the key components in their drive to get the levy passed.

“Excellent with Distinction is the best rating a high school can get, so the community should know their money is being spent wisely and be proud that Kettering is such a special place,” VonHandorf said. “Thank you so much, community members, for your important and heartfelt support.”