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Published: Tuesday, 3/23/2010

Toledo's Libbey High School slated to close, board document shows

BLADE STAFF

Saying they needed more time, Toledo Board of Education members agreed to delay voting on a list of budget cuts in a resolution given to them by staff at a meeting Tuesday night.

According to the resolution, South Toledo's Libbey High School is identified for closure.

Board members were asking questions about the document but had not yet approved it. The resolution calls for Libbey to be shuttered - whether or not voters approve a 0.75 percent tax on earned income on the May 4 ballot.

The resolution also indicates that some school crossing guards will be cut and staffing adjustments will made based on enrollment - also even if the tax request passes. The tax would raise about $18 million annually for schools.

About 70 people arrived Tuesday evening for the Toledo Public Schools board meeting to discuss district cuts.

Board members are scheduled to decide on two lists of cuts - one without new tax money and the other that would be enacted if voters approve the tax request.

School leaders, who are facing a projected $30 million deficit in the TPS budget next fiscal year, have suggested closing the budget hole by eliminating school sports, cutting specialized elementary school art, music, and physical education, and shuttering several cherished high schools and programs.

According to Tuesday night's resolution, high school sports with low student participation would be slashed if the levy is not approved. Also, Lincoln and Stewart academies would be merged, class sizes would be increased, the remainder of school crossing guards would be cut, and all middle school sports would be reduced if voters defeat the levy request.

The Toledo Early College and Toledo Technology Academy would be closed if the levy fails. The teachers would not necessarily be laid off.



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