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Worthington Schools Levy and Bond Issue Sent to Ballot

On November 6th, 2018 in Worthington, those 18 years and older will have the opportunity to vote for or against a levy that would raise taxes. The school board voted unanimously on May 14th to direct the district treasurer to submit the requests to the Franklin County Auditor. (This Week News)  

If the levy is to pass, the additional taxes will fund renovations for Worthington City Schools as the number of children in the district expands rapidly. About $48 million of the bond issue would go towards heavy reconstruction at Perry and Worthingway middle schools. $2.5 million would go towards the other two middle schools, and about $1 million would go towards Thomas Worthington High School. The district is currently spending less than it is taking in, though this is projected to change later this year if the school district does not receive more funding. If the levy does not pass, deficit spending will likely rise to $11.3 million a year by 2020. (The Columbus Dispatch)

Currently, the elementary schools are K-6, the middle schools house grades 7-8, and the high schools are 9-12, with some exceptions. Evening Street has so many students it is overflowing. Some Evening Street kindergarten students started their education at the McConnell Arts Center, where extra classrooms have been set up. The 6th grade students at Evening Street also moved to Kilbourne Middle School due to even more severe overflow issues.

Beck Weber, a 7th grade student at Kilbourne Middle School, recalls his 6th grade year saying, “The hallways and stairwells were so crowded, it was hard to get to classes. It felt weird being the youngest group at the school when 6th graders are meant to be the oldest.”

The current plan, should the levy pass, states that all 6th grade classrooms will move to the middle schools, and elementary schools will be K-5, much like schools in surrounding districts. Worthington Schools states that one of the elementary schools currently flowing to Thomas Worthington will be redistricted to attend Worthington Kilbourne.

As the student population continues to increase at a rapid rate, the Worthington School Board asks for more money from taxpayers. Only 10% of Worthington residents have children that attend the public school system, yet in previous years levies to increase funding in the school district have been passed.

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