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Student researches Riverside levy

I am a junior at Benjamin Logan High School. My AP Government class is researching local levies/elections. Our goal is creating voter guides to help inform the people about the upcoming levies/elections. We are just presenting the facts to the people, nothing more.

I had the task of researching the levy for Riverside Local Schools in DeGraff, Ohio. I interviewed the superintendent of Riverside Schools this fall to gather this information. The superintendent of Riverside Schools is Scott Mann, a former principal of Riverside High School. He has been superintendent for two years. This will be the first levy during his time as superintendent. This is the first time the levy is on the ballot.

This year, the election is held on November 5, and polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Voters in the Riverside School District can vote at these polling locations:

• Harrison Precinct, County Engineer’s Building at 1991 County Road 13, Bellefontaine, OH 43311

• Miami Precinct, Quincy Community Building at 505 Carlisle St., Quincy, OH 43343

• DeGraff Precinct, Riverside Local School Building at 2096 County Road 24, North Entrance, DeGraff, OH 43318

• Pleasant Precinct, Riverside Local School Building at 2096 County Road 24, North Entrance, DeGraff, OH 43318

• Union Precinct, Union Township Building at 5844 Township Road 201, Bellefontaine, OH 43311

The levy that will be on the upcoming ballot is a proposed reduction in income tax. When asked why use an income tax instead of a property tax for example, his response was “... Because of the large amount of farmers in the area; they would be hit harder than most other people because of all the farmland they own.” He stated, “It is so that everyone takes a piece of the pie.” This is just saying that everyone pays a fair share. Levies of other schools have been an increase income tax, but Riverside’s levy is a reduction in income taxes. This is because 3-5 years ago the income tax was two percent, which was rather high. Their focus is to make great decisions and this would be the first step in that by reducing that high two percent income tax.

The money will go towards operating expenses. Nineteen to 20 percent of operating expenses are related to this levy. The expenses consist of buses, operating fees, etc. The need for the income tax is for the operating expenses, buses a major part, and to help eliminate cutting and having to make cuts. Also, the need for this is because big cuts were made before and they do not want this to happen again.

The test scores on Riverside’s report cards were very low and when asked if there was a correlation between the test scores and the amount of money spent per student, he said, “I do believe that is a correlation and we take pride in it and things are being done to change these scores and improve them.” Some actions that are being done to raise these scores is extended block times, for example: Math went from 45 minutes to 90 minutes.

Thanks.

Mack Horton
Bellefontaine

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