Libbey to close with or without levy vote

A much anticipated vote by the Toledo Public Schools failed to materialize Tuesday night when board members complained that Superintendent John Foley had not provided them with sufficient information.

Board President Bob Vasquez decided that the vote would be pushed back to Thursday, April 1. "The points made by the board are good points, we want to make sure what we are voting on is correct and that negotiations with the labor unions are completed," Mr. Vasquez said.

Tuesday night's deliberation seemed to seal the fate of Libbey High School which is all but certain to close. Conversely, the board announced that there would be no cuts to physical education, art and music programs in any Toledo Public School.

The fate of two additional schools and other TPS programs will depend on whether or not a 0.75% earned income tax levy is approved by voters in May. The tax increase, if passed, would bring in nearly $18 million for the district. TPS is currently facing a $30 million budget deficit going into the next academic year.

The board will meet again on April 1 to approve two lists of cuts. The first list will be used if voters approve the proposed levy, the other will be implemented in addition to the first if voters do not approve the levy. Included on the list of cuts proposed if the levy is not approved are: the closing of Libbey High School, Toledo Technology Academy, and Toledo Early College High School; the merging of Stewart Academy for Girls and Lincoln Academy for Boys; and cutting all high school sports with low participation rates.

Included in list of cuts if levy is approved: Closing of Libbey High SchoolElimination of mandatory uniformsReduction in food service subsidyProposed employee wages and benefits adjustmentsReduce athletic transportation/eliminate freshman sportsEliminate early releases (transportation)Eliminate All Day Every Other Day Pre-school (transportation)TextbooksStaffing adjustments to enrollment

Included in cuts to be added to above if levy is not approved: Closing of Toledo Technology AcademyClosing of Toledo Early College High SchoolMerging of Stewart Academy for Girls and Lincoln Academy for BoysSchool resource officersSchool crossing guardsCut high school transportationEliminate HS sports with low participationReduce middle school athleticsIncrease class sizes