School income tax, laptop levy pass

By Laurie Hamame -

Voters soundly supported two Oberlin City Schools renewal levies that appeared on Tuesday’s ballot.

Issue 40, a 0.75 percent tax renewal for district operations, passed by a 29 percent margin. The five-year tax renewal will keep taxes at present levels through 2023.

It will generate $1.4 million per year, and its passage will likely prevent deficit spending within the budget, as laid out on the district’s five-year forecast.

Issue 41, a 1.3-mill levy renewal that will establish a one-to-one technology program, passed by 784 votes, a 32 percent margin.

It will put a laptop in the hands of every student for testing and classroom use, mainly for homework and state testing that must be done online.

The tax will also pay for a different brand of interactive whiteboards that would eliminate the strain for replacement parts and also provide a lengthened lifespan.

District technology coordinator Steve Nielsen also plans to switch to virtualized technology. Instead of having seven servers, a single piece of hardware could handle the same workload, bringing a 50 percent reduction in costs.

Laurie Hamame can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @HamameNews on Twitter.

By Laurie Hamame