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Which Northeast Ohio schools have new levies on the ballot this March?

A sign supporting a school levy at Medina City School District that's on the ballot in March 2024, seen from a roadway in Medina County in early February.
Conor Morris
Ideastream Public Media
A sign supporting a school levy at Medina City School District that's on the ballot in March 2024, seen from a roadway in Medina County in early February.

As school districts contend with rising costs and seek to update facilities, roughly a dozen schools in northeast Ohio are asking voters for new funding through levies and bond issues on the March 2024 ballot.

The requests come at a critical time for some school districts like Mogadore Local School District and Medina City Schools as pandemic relief funds end in 2024 and without new money approved by voters in years. Other school districts, like Brooklyn City School District are seeking funds for new facilities.

At Mogadore schools, levy committee members Bob Gaetjens and Olivia Manuella said in an interview in early March that the district cut six teachers last year -which is a large number for a district with only two buildings - after two previous levy attempts failed. They're seeking a 5.9-mill levy - a reduced number from prior attempts - that would cost the owner of a $100,000-valued property $207 more per year, for a five-year term.

"We're looking down the barrel of this March 19th levy with cuts that we're already having to make from the failure of our November levy," he said.

The Mogadore Board of Education met Thursday evening last week to discuss those measures, which includes potential cuts to staff, bus routes and asking for middle school and high school families to pay to participate in sports and extracurricular activities starting next year. The district is under a state of "fiscal caution," which is the first of three stages of fiscal monitoring the state imposes on districts facing future deficits.

Manuella and Gaetjens said more cuts will likely be on the way if the levy isn't approved by voters this month.

An overview of all of the requests for new funding from districts in Northeast Ohio follows. This does not include details on school districts that are simply asking for renewals of past-approved levies, which typically are less controversial and enjoy broader support from voters.

Summit County

Nordonia Hill s City School District is seeking a five-mill operating levy that would be continuous, meaning it's permanent. Melissa Hunter, a member of the levy committee, said the tax increase is needed because of rising costs and the district's portfolio of old buildings, between 50 and 100 years old. A bond issue to fund a new portfolio of buildings failed in November 2022. One mill of the five-mill levy would be dedicated to "permanent improvements," Hunter said. She said there's about $46 million in maintenance needed currently, which will balloon to almost $100 million in the next 5 years.

She added that the district already cut $1 million from its budget last year, which was mostly done through eliminating unfilled positions. Cuts that could come after, if the levy isn't approved, could be impactful on the district's operations.

"If you cut a kindergarten teacher in a school that has four, you take a class size from 22 kids to 40 kids," she said.

She said Ohio's Fair School Funding Plan - meant to increase state funding for all public schools - has only had a modest impact on the district, meaning the burden is still largely on voters to fund the school district. The district received an increase of about $510,000 total over the last two fiscal years due to that plan. It's receiving about $5 million total this current year in state funding despite having a $58 million budget in the last fiscal year, according to Ohio Department of Education records.

She said she understands it's a tough request of voters, but she said the district needs the support. She currently has a daughter in eighth grade and a 21-year-old who graduated from the district.

"I think everybody's just feeling the squeeze, and we're sympathetic to that," she said. "We understand people are looking at their household budgets."

Cuyahoga County

Brooklyn City School District and Richmond Heights Local School District are both seeking bond issues and levies to fund construction and renovation of school facilities.

In Brooklyn's case, the district is seeking a 2.96-mill bond issue for a 37-year period, meant to fund improvements mainly at Brooklyn High School, including new security measures, renovations to the athletic complex and band and choir wings, the auditorium, bathrooms and more, according to the district's website.

The Richmond Heights school district is seeking a much larger combined bond issue and levy, with a 3.32 mill, 37-year period bond issue which would be used to fund construction of a new multi-use athletic facility with a track and football field; a continuous 5.6-mill levy to fund "permanent improvements;" and a continuous 5.85-mill operating levy. The permanent levy and bond issue would also fund replacement of the Richmond Heights Elementary School, which was built in 1958. The district on its X account noted that the track and stadium bleachers have been deemed "noncompliant" by the Ohio High School Athletic Association.

Cuyahoga Heights Local School District, meanwhile, has an eight-mill continuous levy on the ballot, with one mill of that for permanent improvements. Its last attempt at a levy in November 2023 failed by 35 votes, according to the district's website.

"The 7.0 mills will enable the district to maintain its high level of educational services while the 1.0 mill will fund the district’s most urgent capital expenditures," the district wrote. "This includes repair and maintenance of the district’s buildings which are more than 80 years old, stabilizing the hillside adjacent to the swimming pool, repairing the HVAC system in the ancillary gym, as well as making general repairs and upgrades to the buildings and grounds. PI funds cannot be used for salaries, benefits, or day-to-day operations."


Medina City School District is seeking a 7.5-mill continuous levy this March. A 2023 levy attempt failed and the district faces a budget deficit. The district on its website notes that even if the levy passes, it'll still need to make $8 to $10 million in cuts over the next four years, cutting some staff while redistricting to try to consolidate resources and positions. The district added it's expanded programs significantly over the last 10 years, including free all-day kindergarten, expanded gifted and college and career programming and updated classroom technology, and wants to maintain that programming.

The district says the money will help it maintain high-quality programming and keep up with building maintenance.

"This financial consistency allows schools to maintain essential resources such as qualified teachers, up-to-date learning materials, and modern technology," according to the website.


Buckeye Local School District in Ashtabula County is seeking an 8.9-mill, 37-year bond issue, which includes a .5-mill permanent improvement levy, to help fund consolidation of its buildings into one new building. The Star Beacon reports the district's elementary and middle school are almost 100 years old, while the middle school and high school were built about 60 years ago, and the cost of continued repairs will continue to be a drain on district resources. A previous attempt failed in November 2023.

The Ashtabula Area City School District is also seeking a 2.9-mill continuing levy to fund operations.


Lake Local School District is seeking a 9.5-mill, five-year operating levy to keep up with rising costs. The district on its website notes it's already cut 13 staff in the current school year and increased fees for athletic and after-school activities after failure of a levy in May 2023. The district's bond issue from 1999 will be expiring soon, which it notes will reduce the impact of the tax increase slightly.

Marlington Local School District, meanwhile, is seeking a five-year, 2.9-mill levy to fund permanent improvements. The Canton Repository reports the district needs to replace the roof of its high school and address other maintenance needs.


Ravenna City School District is seeking a five-year, 6.9-mill levy to help it address a budget deficit as inflation has increased but its revenue from the state and local taxes has remained relatively flat, according to a fact sheet from the district. The district has not had new tax money approved by voters since 2005, although it did get a permanent improvement levy approved by voters in 2021, meant only to pay for buildings and other non-staffing related expenses.

The district said it eliminated about 14 positions in 2023 after it commissioned an efficiency audit.


Lakeview Local School District is seeking a $6.8-mill continuous levy to fund its current operations, with 2010 being the last time it received new tax money from voters. It notes it's trimmed about $1.4 million from its budget over the last five years to "overcome significant cuts in state funding in addition to other decreasing revenues."

It says more cuts will be on the way if the levy fails. A school resource officer and nine other positions could be cut, bus routes reduced and pay-to-participate fees increased.

Conor Morris is the education reporter for Ideastream Public Media.