Tuesday, Apr 24, 2018
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Area school boards looking at all measures to cut funds

Lake Local Schools is laying off a principal and Eastwood Local Schools is eliminating a teaching position as area school districts grapple with reduced funding from the state and elsewhere.

Laying off a principal will save Lake Local $90,000 annually, part of $339,565 in cuts approved by the school board last week. Board members tabled consideration of scaling back school nurse hours from full time to half time, which would save another $20,000.

In Eastwood, school board members last week decided to reduce hours for five teaching employees in elective areas. And two opening staff positions will be left vacant.

Eastwood next needs to reduce its 2011-12 budget by at least $700,000. As enrollment continues to drop, closing Webster Elementary is among cost-cutting possibilities, Eastwood Superintendent Brent Welker told district residents in an e-mail last week.

"There will be a number of line items that we will discuss and evaluate at community meetings in the fall," Mr. Welker said.

Closing an elementary school and eliminating high school bussing are among options Oregon City Schools is considering as part of its cost-cutting measures. Oregon, which also is weighing whether to put a levy on the November ballot, likely will begin looking at financial alternatives next month after taking into consideration input from a community meeting, Superintendent Mike Zalar said during last week's board meeting.

Lake Local's school board decided to seek passage of two levies that are up for renewal, and officials will try to get a new levy passed next year, said Jim Witt, Lake Local superintendent.

The district expects to be in the red by January, 2012, according to Lake Local's forecast.

Among other annual reductions Lake Local made last week was trimming $13,500 from board member compensation; $110,000 from Wood County Educational Service Center programs; $18,000 from custodial supplies; $30,000 from worker's compensation premiums; and $19,000 from building budgets.

For next school year, Eastwood eliminated the position of a staff member hired through the Wood County Educational Service Center.

Northwood Local Schools also is not going to contract for one of three preschool teaching positions it had through Wood County Education Service Center for this year, Superintendent Greg Clark said.

Otherwise, Northwood Local has been able to avoid layoffs, Mr. Clark said. The district has a principal and a couple of teachers who are retiring, but it is working to realign positions instead of hiring replacements, he said.

"We're doing cost cutting, but we're trying to manage them through attrition at this point," Mr. Clark said.

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