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ACGC plans for another levy referendum

GROVE CITY - Another levy referendum will be held in the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School District, but it's undecided if that vote will take place this spring or fall.

GROVE CITY - Another levy referendum will be held in the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School District, but it's undecided if that vote will take place this spring or fall.

The ACGC School Board agreed Monday to put the issue to voters once again in an attempt to increase revenue for the financially strapped school district.

Boardmember Janell Johnson urged the board to hold the levy in April rather than wait until the general election in November, which she said would be focused on a tight presidential race and the "doom and gloom" of the economy.

Chairwoman Judy Raske said she thought April was too soon and feared the levy would fail then. She said the board needs to communicate with the public and attempt to debunk some of the "myths" about the district, including the misconception that all the students could be taught in one building. The district currently operates at three locations.

The Board will decide in February when to hold the referendum.

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Since 2005 ACGC voters have rejected four different levy proposals. Two of those failed referendums took place in 2007.

ACGC is currently in statutory operating debt, which means the level of money in the district's net unreserved general fund doesn't meet state financial standards.

The district has other challenges as well.

The board has not reached a contract settlement with their teachers and is searching for another part-time interim superintendent to replace Dr. Keith Redfield.

The board also learned Monday that enrollment figures have taken another sharp dip and the the $1 million in budget cuts made earlier have resulted in too few electives for students and some classes with too many students.

Carolyn Lange is a features writer at the West Central Tribune. She can be reached at clange@wctrib.com or 320-894-9750
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