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Tecumseh School District Seeks To Pass First Levy In Nearly Two Decades

Tecumseh Local Schools will ask voters to approve a 5-year,12.37-mill levy tax levy this November, the district's 11th levy request in nine years. If the levy fails, the school district will face an operating deficit of $8 million by 2017.

Superintendent Bradley Martin says Tecumseh's school levy is carrying a higher millage rate this time around because voters have failed to pass a levy in nearly 20 years.

He adds, "we haven't passed a new levy since 1995. I know our millage rate is high, it's because we've failed it so many times each year you fail it you lose a year of collection and your debt gets deeper."

The district has made $8 million in cuts to staffing and educational programs since 2004 and school officials say, if the levy fails, the district could face a state takeover of its annual budget.

While some in the community think the state would do a better job, Martin explains that a takeover would be detrimental to the district.

Martin believes "[the state] would look at cutting art, music and gym at the elementary level. They would look at getting rid of industrial tech. You'd basically have enough credits to graduate."

The Tecumseh School official says the state would appoint an oversight commission to oversee finances, but the board of education would still be responsible for deciding what else to cut from the district's $26 million budget.

If voters approve the levy it would generate $3.5 million, costing the owner of a $100,000 home $432 a year.