Voters reject Fairfield school levy, district to move forward with service reductions

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Fairfield voters overwhelming rejected an operating levy Tuesday night, according to unofficial results from the Butler County Board of Elections.

About 55% of the voters were against the 6.9-mill continuing operating levy. The board of elections reported there were 6,406 no votes and 5,274 yes votes.

With the failure of the levy, school officials said the district will move forward with implementing the following recommended staff, program, and service reductions beginning with the 2024-2025 school year:

  • Elimination of five teaching positions at the middle schools
  • Elimination of four and one-half teaching positions at the freshman and high school campus
  • Elimination of three positions in the curriculum and instruction department
  • Elimination of one administrative position
  • Reduction of transportation to state minimums, which would eliminate transportation services for general education students in grades 9 and 10, including non-public and community schools. Only those students whose residence is more than two miles from their school, including non-public and community schools, are eligible for transportation regardless of sitters, daycares, etc.

The district will explore the potential to declare transportation to certain non-public and community schools impractical, school officials said.

It was the first operational levy tax vote in the 10,000-student district since voters approved a levy in 2011.

Fairfield school officials announced early in 2023 the district was facing a projected $11 million budget deficit.

If approved, the new school tax would have raised the annual property tax for a $100,000 home by $242 with new tax beginning to be collected from local property owners as of Jan. 1, 2025.

A ballot victory would have generated $15.9 million annually and would have kept the district financially solvent through June 30, 2029, said school officials.

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