Voters reject West Clermont school levy

By Kristin Rover
Sun staff

Students at West Clermont Local School District will not see the return of art, physical education, music, transportation, all day everyday kindergarten, or many other services any time soon according to Superintendent Dr. Keith Kline.

The district failed at its fourth attempt to pass an operational levy Nov. 5 with 56 percent, or 8,404 voters, opposed to the levy and 44 percent, or 6,604 voters, in favor of the levy.

“The defeat is a huge blow to where we were headed with the district,” Kline said. “The financial situation is going to continue to be a problem.”

Kline, who took over as superintendent this year, said he has worked with district officials to make many operational changes at the district since he took over.

Prior to the election, Kline said they also worked to improve efficiency at the district, found additional ways to save money, and have worked to improve communication with residents in the district to receive feedback and suggestions.

Now that the levy has failed, Kline said he is concerned about what will be next.

“Unfortunately we have taken a huge step closer to fiscal emergency,” Kline said.

Kline said the issue for the district continues to be a revenue problem rather than a spending problem.

He said they are already at state minimums, and won’t be able to cover an additional $7.2 million in cuts to funding that is expected to be lost in the coming years.

Kline said that some of the students who came to the school to hear the results of the election were literally in tears when they heard the results.

“For a kid, this is devastating,” Kline said. “I see kids and they want things like art, music and P.E. to be part of their experience. They want career ready programs. Unfortunately we can’t look at bringing any of those things back.”

Election results are unofficial until certified by the Clermont County Board of Elections.