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Unofficial election results show that nearly 55% of the 5,154 voters who cast a ballot before the Tuesday deadline supported Canton City Schools’ request for a 7.9-mill continuing levy to maintain its current operations. The district, which last sought a levy in 2011, has said that it would face millions of dollars in cuts, including staff reductions, if Issue 19 failed.

Canton City Schools Superintendent Jeff Graham said the levy’s approval ensures the district will continue to receive critical funds it needs to maintain its operations.

“Our schools already faced major cuts last year and Issue 19 will ensure that we have better resources to educate our children in the future,” he said. “Canton is a resilient community and your support is a testament to your character.”

Graham also acknowledged the levy’s passage isn’t a cure-all for the district’s financial woes.

“Issue 19 certainly makes our financial picture less dire; however, we always knew that we would face cuts even with the passage of Issue 19,” he said. “Our new realities around the COVID-19 pandemic mean that our district will face even more extreme cuts next school year.”

Graham noted how income taxes have fallen because people are now unemployed, how gas taxes have decreased because people are not driving and how property tax collections are projected to fall as people face dire economic times. He said those decreases likely will mean significant funding reductions from the state. Graham said district leaders are discussing how they will adjust to new financial realities.

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