DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — When Northmont City Schools failed to pass a levy in May, it was the first time a levy did not pass in the district since 1990.
Northmont City Schools Superintendent Tony Thomas tells 2 NEWS that there’s a sense of urgency, as the district is navigating a tight budget. The 5.5 mills property tax levy would cost households valued on average of $100,000 dollars about $16 per month.
Any money generated by the levy would not be new funding for Northmont. Since 2022, the district has been in deficit spending. Fifty-five percent of the district’s funding is local, while the rest comes from the state.
“We would hope that it’s to get us out of deficit spending, which is where we are right now, because there’s there’s not enough state money to sustain a current budget,” said Thomas.
Currently, the district is using reserve funds to pay for day-to-day operations. By 2026, Northmont is projected to be $6.9 million in the red at the current spending rate.
Thomas says the district has sent students to top colleges in recent years, but it goes beyond the typical academics to make the district a place parents want to send their children.
“The fact that we have strong counseling program, the fact that we have great career development and making sure the kids are on track to have to go in a field that they that they’ve chosen, but also one that has a livable wage, and so forth,” said Thomas.
When a levy failed in May, the district had to cut 30 positions and decreased budgets for each building by five percent. Northmont chose to close Englewood Elementary School, which has saved the district $1 million per year.
“Right now, it’s the margins are pretty narrow with what we’re asking just to maintain what we have and make sure that we can still provide excellent education for our community,” said Thomas.
The Ohio Department of Education says in order to educate a child, it costs $8,000 per student. Northmont receives less than half of that amount from the state per student – $3,320.
Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 7.