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Published: Thursday, 3/11/2010

Perrysburg schools may cut 52 jobs in fall

BLADE STAFF

Coping with revenue projected to decline by about $2.8 million, Perrysburg school officials have notified 52 staff members, including teachers, that they may not have their jobs next year.

The layoffs are not a certainty, but some or all of the notified employees will get pink slips unless the district's income turns out to be better than expected for the 2010-11 academic year.

The notices were sent out in the interests of transparency, Matt Feasel, the school district's treasurer, said.

"We've told our staff that we would keep them up to date," he explained. "Things could change if we get retirements. But 80 percent of our budget is staffing."

The district must trim its spending by 7.5 percent, or $3 million, the treasurer said.

The employees who received notices are 20 teachers, 13 support staffers, two administrators, and 17 paraprofessionals.

The teachers are mostly at the high school and junior high, Mr. Feasel said.

The affected support staffers include secretaries, bus drivers, and custodians, and the administrators are the business manager and director of policy and communications. The last position has been vacant since Feb. 26, when Roseanne Barker retired after 19 years with the district.

The paraprofessionals, such as health aides, are provided by Lucas and Wood counties, which are under contract with the district.

"We wanted to make sure our staff was aware of the situation. We have met with each individual" who received a notice, Mr. Feasel said. "It's come to a point where our resources have dried up this year. Is this the end of it? I don't anticipate that it is."

School officials hoped a 7.3-mill incremental operating levy approved by voters in 2008 would give the district some financial breathing room.

The complex incremental levy allows a district to adjust its tax collections and make use of additional funding as it is needed instead of asking for it ahead of time, but the recession and falling property values have kept it from generating expected revenue.

The district, with a current enrollment of 4,706, is growing. Its plan for the 2011-12 school year includes the purchase of five portable classrooms at a cost of $315,000.

To cut costs, the district has obtained a hardship waiver from the state that will allow it not to offer no cost, full-day kindergarten next year.



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