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Superintendent Says Budget Cuts Mean 10.5 Fewer Teachers in 2011-12

Kasich's budget cuts remain at $4.4 million for district

Ohio's two-year state budget approved June 30 didn’t provide any surprises to the Avon Lake School District. The net result, a $4.4 million annual cut, is tin March.

That isn’t necessarily good news for Avon Lake. Superintendent Bob Scott had held onto a slim hope that the state wouldn’t approve such steep cuts for what is perceived to be a “rich district.”

“We’re hoping some sanity comes out of it,” Scott said in March.

Now Scott is saying with the budget in place the school will have 10.5 fewer teachers next year.

“Initially, we thought we needed six more teachers,” he said before the cuts were announced. “We hired none of those. After retirements, we’re just not hiring replacements. We’re only keeping three counselors at the high school.”

Longtime counselor LuAnn Shuster retired this year and will not be replaced.

Despite the cuts, there are no immediate plans for going to the taxpayers asking to approve a new levy.

“There’s no (levy) talk right now,” he said. “We know it will eventually happen but we want to push it off as long as possible.”

Scott said he expects that after years of belt tightening and watching spending, the district should weather the storm, but noted some items, like updating language arts books, will be put on hold.

“It’s one of our frustrations,” he said of the situation. “When we passed our last new-money levy in May 2006, we went on a mission of taking care of the dollars. “If something wasn’t giving us a bang for the buck we got rid of it.”

Scott noted the district managed to add new AP classes without expanding the staff.

Still, he expressed frustration at the situation.

“Last year came in with a $13 million surplus and thought we were doing well,” Scott said. “All of sudden that surplus is going to be gone.”

The situation is not yet dire.

 “That ($13 million) balance has given us time, but there could be future slashes. The teachers helped a lot.”

Scott is hoping school personnel are included in future talks about the budget and Ohio school funding.

“Gov. Kasich mentioned yesterday that part of his piece was different funding for schools,” he said. “We just want to be involved.”

Jeff Riddell July 18, 2011 at 02:28 PM
SOUNDS LIKE THE RIGHT THINGS ARE HAPPENING FOR THE RIOGHT REASONS.GOOD SPENDING HABITS HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THE CHECKBOOK HAVING MONEY IN IT---SHOULD BE WISE ALL THE TIME
Kathleen O'Brien Wilhelm July 18, 2011 at 05:02 PM
Fiscal responsibility--great! Now start outsourcing jobs that presently compete with private businesses; landscaping, cleaning, maintenance and more with fair bidding. So happy Governor Kasich is saving Ohio from itself. Businesses and jobs will come to Ohio.
william July 18, 2011 at 07:48 PM
How is that fiscal responsibility? Less teachers and more kids just makes the teacher to student ratio worse. Lets just put all the kids in a big gym and have one teacher. That sounds like fiscal responsibility.
Harry H. July 19, 2011 at 06:29 PM
Gov. Kasich saving Ohio from itself? Are you kidding me? What a crock! Ruining our public education system is only fiscally responsible if your kids go to private schools. I would argue that selling off all the state assets is fiscally irresponsible. The taxpayers will still be footing the bill for these services and the only thing that will change is lower wages and benefits for the workers so as to make a big profit for the new private owner.
Fernand mondego July 21, 2011 at 04:16 AM
Kathy willhelm how is it fiscal responsibility when the governor takes millions of dollars out of our school district, makes the teachers out to be pimps, uses the money to fund the jobs Ohio program (that is not subject to open meeting laws) and never discusses reducing yours or my taxes. So to translate we get less service for the same money we pay towards our schools. Taking money from kids educations to give to people running businesses seems logical. Let me fill you in on some business finance. When you get less gas in your tank for the same amount of money the price went up. When you get the less education dollars for the same amount of your tax dollars -the price went up. Kasich in all actuality raised taxes. But you fiscal conservatives got what you wanted. At least those dirty teachers will have to work a little harder. That will teach them not to join those unions. Let me guess - you're a god fearin' woman who just wants a little less government up in her patriotic business. You should bail out on that private sector bid, those pesky employees cost so much. You can still announce your candidacy for district one, and run on Berners ticket. Your campaign slogan could be "goverment so small - you won't even know we spent your money". Or "smart school kids! Who needs em? I ain't never seen a school kid give no one no jobs. It like gotta be about jobs and uhmm roads. Wake up and have a nice hot cup of democratic coffee.
Curt Fell September 22, 2011 at 06:11 PM
Yep, back to the one room school houses is where the Tea Party is taking us back to....
James Thomas September 24, 2011 at 02:57 PM
Fernand M., the Governor hasn't taken "millions of dollars out of our school district", that money just doesn't exist in this economy. No amount of democratic coffee can make it exist.

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