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Kettering School levy passes

Measure would raise nearly $6M annually.

KETTERING CITY SCHOOLS

Year-end enrollment: 7,414

State report card indicators met for 2012-13: 24 out of 24.

Previous state report card ratings: “Excellent with Distinction” for 2011-12, “Excellent” for 2010-11, “Excellent with Distinction” for 2009-10, “Continuous Improvement” for 2008-9, “Effective” for 2007-08 and “Effective” for 2006-7.

Administrators’ average salary: $110,495. (State average $76,037)

Classroom teachers’ average salary: $66,366. (State average: $57,904)

Expenditure per pupil: $12,005.

Revenue per pupil: $12,232.

Source: Ohio Department of Education (FY 2012), Kettering City Schools.

Voters approved Kettering City Schools’ request for new money 54-46 percent, according to unofficial results from the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

The district was seeking an additional 4.89 mills for operating expenses.

The five-year measure would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $171.15 per year and raise $5.92 million annually for the more than 7,400-student school district.

Superintendent James Schoenlein said the district involved more people who put in more hours to get the message out to voters.

“We paid attention to what worked for the Northridge Local School District, which passed a levy for new money with an organized door-to-door campaign,” he said.

“We did the same thing and it was a lot of work. We normally send out literature, newsletters and the blue-ribbon report. This time, we took the street map of the city, then identified the locations of registered voters, then we recruited between 350 and 400 volunteers to take our message to those voters. We did everything we could do.”

In the past, the district has hired a consultant to create a levy campaign. “That’s one of the many things we have cut. We do it ourselves now,” Schoenlein said.

Parent and volunteer Jennifer Kane was already organizing the volunteer campaign when she was appointed to fill an opening on the board of education. She said she drew upon her professional experience as a project manager.

“I hope the campaign is going to build a solid foundation for me as a board member,” she said.

The district originally placed a 5.9-mill levy on the ballot in May, but removed it to wait for more details about the impact of state funding changes.

“If this one doesn’t pass, it will be 2015 before we will be able to ask for another and receive any new money if it would pass,” Schoenlein said during a gathering of administrators, board members, teachers, parents and students to monitor the outcome.

The district and teachers will begin talks for a new contract in the spring of 2014. Employees have had a freeze in base pay for three years and no step increases for two.