The Field Board of Education is preparing for the worst case scenario, approving a reduction in force that will affect 21 teachers throughout the district if its two levies fail on May 7.
The cuts are part of the district’s plan to cut $1.6 million from the budget if both levies fail.
In addition to the 21 teachers, nine classified staff members also will be eliminated. Additionally, two teaching positions will not be filled following retirements, one person on an interim contract will not be renewed, and two classified staff members will be cut from full time to part time. As a result of the cuts to the custodial staff, all buildings would be closed to non-school groups and teams after 4:30 p.m., and the district would eliminate the school resource officer.
The cuts would occur only if both levies, Issue 8 and Issue 9, fail. If both are approved by voters, the board would vote to rescind the reduction-in-force resolution at its May meeting, which is scheduled for May 13.
On Monday, the board only voted on the reduction in force for teachers. Their vote is not required for classified staff members.
Superintendent David Heflinger began notifying the affected teachers and classified staff members that their jobs were in jeopardy in January when the district first announced its cut list. The teachers come from all buildings, all grade levels and all subjects, Heflinger said.
“The union president and myself met with all of the affected people to give them as much notice as we could about what was going to happen,” Heflinger said.
The district is hoping to pass Issue 8, a 7.3-mill, five-year renewal for current operating expenses, and Issue 9, a new 11.75-mill, five-year levy. Issue 9 is a combination levy that includes 10.75 mills for current operating expenses and 1 mill for permanent improvement.
If both levies were to fail, the district would be $2.6 million in the red by the end of 2020 and would likely be placed in fiscal caution by the Ohio Department of Education, district Treasurer Todd Carpenter previously stated. If that were to happen, the district would have to adhere to the $1.6 million reduction they submitted last year.
“We certainly hope that this won’t be necessary. It will have a negative impact on student education,” Heflinger said.
Reporter Krista S. Kano can be reached at 330-541-9416, firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @KristaKanoRCedu.
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