The Woodmore school board will be making spending cuts, the only question is when and how deep they’ll be.
Superintendent John Fernbaugh said the board has pledged to hold off on implementing major spending cuts until the district has a clearer idea of how much state aid the district will lose in the next biennium budget.
The board last week approved a resolution to place a 3.95-mill, 5-year emergency levy on the May 3 ballot. If voters pass the levy it will generate approximately $600,000 annually for the district, which is facing a deficit in the general fund by July 1, 2012.
For planning purposes, Fernbaugh said, he and the school board are anticipating a cut in state aid of about 10 percent – approximately $335,000 - although some school officials are projecting cuts in the range of 15-20 percent.
Gov. John Kasich is expected to submit a budget proposal to the state legislature by mid-March.
Even if Woodmore voters approve the levy the school board expects to make some cuts, Fernbaugh said, adding board members are committed to streamlining the district’s operations.
“There will be cuts in the way we do business,” Fernbaugh said.
A list of spending cuts that could be implemented has already been compiled, including eliminating sports and extra-curricular activities, reducing bus routes and the custodial staff, and not replacing retiring teachers and laying off teachers.
Fernbaugh estimated almost 150 residents attended a forum the board held Jan. 31 to discuss the district’s finances and related matters.
Board members and the administration plan to conduct district business in a more transparent manner, Fernbaugh said, adding more forums are planned for later this month and in March.
Voters rejected a 2.99-mill, 5-year emergency levy on the November 2010 ballot.
The board will hold its next regular meeting Feb. 15 at 6:30 p.m. in the elementary school conference room.