MOUNT VERNON — The Mount Vernon Board of Education met for a work session on Wednesday to discuss the district’s finances.
A press release issued Friday afternoon said that due to the failure of the levy in November, and the anticipated loss of income from the State of Ohio, the board has directed the administration to make reductions that will total about $2.5 million dollars for the 2011-12 school year.
Superintendent Steve Short said the $2.5 million was a number looked at in anticipation of what may happen down the road. Expenditures exceeded revenues in 2010 by more than $1.8 million. Short said the Ohio Department of Education has mentioned a 15 percent cut in state funding to the district for next year.
“That 15 percent to us is over $1.5 million,” said Short.
The bulk of the budget reductions will come from the district’s payroll. Short said three administrative positions will be eliminated through combining administrative duties and by not filling positions of those in the process of retiring.
Regarding teaching staff, Short said some reductions will likely come through attrition. “I don’t know yet who all is retiring,” he said. “That is one of the things we factor into these decisions.”
According to the board’s press release, “The decision to reduce staff is never an easy decision but necessary at this time. We will continue to review, on an ongoing basis, other cost savings measures that include, but are not limited to, the consolidation of responsibilities and facilities in the district.”
He said the administration will be looking at various programs, grade levels and the number of students in each grade level. Classified staff positions will also be affected by budget cuts.
“That could be educational aides and custodians,” Short said. “It could be secretaries. We’ll be looking across the board.”
Besides reducing budgets across the district, a reduction in the number of student club activities, or eliminating them, and incorporating a pay-to-participate fee for students will be included in the reduction of current expenses. Short said pay-to-participate will be initiated with the start of the 2011-12 school year and although a set price has yet to be determined, fees could range between $150 and $200.
Short said that the impact from the cuts will probably be a negative one. “I believe that in making cuts in programs,” he explained, “there is a real possibility of a negative impact on what we do.”
The Mount Vernon City School Board of Education will hold a special board meeting on Monday for the purpose of approving a resolution on the question of an additional tax levy for submission to the voters of the school district. That meeting will be held at the Board of Education office at 300 Newark Road, Mount Vernon, at 6 p.m.
“Along with reductions, there is still a need for additional revenue. Without additional revenue, the district will be forced to make even deeper cuts that will have a greater impact on our school and community,” Short said.
District residents with questions are encouraged to call Short at the board office: 740-397-7422, ext. 6025.