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Here's how Northeast Ohio school levies fared in the 2024 primary

Brooklyn City School District levy
Conor Morris
Ideastream Public Media
Brooklyn City School District saw X

School district requests for new money to fund operations and new facilities fared poorly in Northeast Ohio in the 2024 March Ohio Primary, according to unofficial election results.

Some districts, like Medina City School District and Mogadore Local School District in Summit County, have already made cuts due to past levy failures and will likely need to make more due to failures on Tuesday.

The Ohio Association of School Boards said that spring 2023 was the lowest success rate for new school tax requests in Ohio since 2007 when the country was on the cusp of the Great Recession. Typically, requests for new operating money and bond issues are harder sells to voters than renewal levies, which renew existing levies and do not increase taxes. However, some renewal levies in places like Garfield Heights and Strongsville schools failed Tuesday night as well.

Unofficial results for most new requests for money from schools in Northeast Ohio are below. All bond issues mentioned below, meant to pay off loans used to construct facilities, would last for a period of 37 years. Unless otherwise noted, operating levies are for a "continuous" amount of time, meaning they're permanent.

Summit County

Mogadore Local School District's 5.9-mill levy appeared to narrowly fail, 689 to 629, according to results in both Summit and Portage counties, marking the third time the district has seen a levy failure in the last two years. The small school district is already in the process of making cuts from those past attempts.

Nordonia Hills City School District's 5-mill operating levy was also unsuccessful, with the number of "no" votes almost double the amount of "yes" votes, unofficial results show. The district said the levy was necessary to keep up with the maintenance of old buildings after a previous levy to fund new buildings failed.

Cuyahoga County

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

In Brooklyn's case, the district's 2.96-mill bond issue, meant to fund improvements mainly at Brooklyn High School, passed by just six votes.

In Richmond Heights voters turned down an ambitious combined levy - 3.32 mills for construction of a new athletic facility, 5.6 mills to fund facilities, and 5.85 mills to fund operations — by a nearly 40-point margin.

Voters in Cuyahoga Heights Local School District appeared poised to narrowly approve by less than 5 points its 8-mill operating levy — of which a small portion is meant to fund facilities. Its last attempt at a levy in November 2023 failed by 35 votes.

Medina County

Medina City School District's 7.5 mill operating levy failed by about 5 percentage points, according to unofficial Medina County Board of Elections results. The funding was meant to help the district address a growing budget deficit. The district on its website noted that even if the levy passed, it would still need to make between $8 million and $10 million in cuts over the next four years, including some staff, while redistricting to consolidate resources and positions.

Ashtabula County

Buckeye Local School District in Ashtabula County was unsuccessful with an 8.9-mill bond issue and levy, which includes a .5-mill permanent improvement portion, meant to help fund the consolidation of its existing buildings in one new building. Nearly 73% of voters opposed the levy, Ashtabula County Board of Elections unofficial results show. A previous levy attempt failed in November 2023.

A 2.9-mill continuing levy to fund operations at the Ashtabula Area City School District also failed.

Stark County

Lake Local School District, another district that has already made cuts after a failed 2023 levy, was successful with a 9.5-mill, five-year operating levy to keep up with rising costs. The levy passed with 53.47% of voters supporting it, unofficial results for the Start County Board of Elections show.

Marlington Local School District, meanwhile, saw its five-year, 2.9-mill levy to fund permanent improvements defeated Tuesday.

Portage County

Ravenna City School District's five-year, 6.9-mill levy failed Tuesday by a margin of about 550 votes, unofficial Portage County Board of Elections results show. The levy was meant to help it address a budget deficit. 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.

Updated: March 20, 2024 at 8:16 AM EDT
This story has been updated with additional results.
Conor Morris is the education reporter for Ideastream Public Media.