AKRON - What a difference a year makes. Twelve months after watching their levy fail by fewer than 200 votes, Akron school leaders are watching a landslide in their favor.
Issue 61 leads with a comfortable 59-41 advantage with more than half of all city precincts reporting.
Passage of the 7.9-mill emergency levy will allow the district to remain afloat during tough times that earlier this year led to teacher layoffs along with the loss of some middle school programs, including music and athletics.
A failure Tuesday would have led to massive cuts and possible state financial takeover.
Even with success at the polls, Akron school leaders must still trim $9-$12 million to offset fewer state dollars and a drop in other income. Had Issue 61 failed, the cuts would easily have topped $20 million.
School leaders had rolled the dice by only attempting one levy during the 2012 campaign rather than following the lead of some suburban districts. Many had attempted to pass levies earlier in the year knowing they'd have a second chance in November if the first levy was unsuccessful.