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Published: Thursday, 12/16/2010

Sylvania school administrators propose employee cuts

The Sylvania schools would eliminate the equivalent of 79 full-time teaching positions, along with cutting support staff, extracurricular activities, transportation, and food service if the board of education adopts a preliminary budget-cutting plan released Thursday by district administrators.

"With the failure of the operating levy in November, it is necessary for the district to cut $6 million from the operating budget for the 2011-12 school year," Superintendent of Schools Brad Rieger wrote in a letter to parents that accompanied an e-mail of the draft plan. "These reductions will be implemented even with a passage of an operating levy in 2011."

Additional cuts could be needed depending on how much education funding Sylvania receives next year from the state of Ohio, the superintendent added.

"However, we continue to look for ways to reduce future expenditures that will help preserve some of the programs, services, and jobs impacted by this reduction plan."

The "preliminary framework" will be placed on the agenda for a Jan. 10 school board meeting, followed three days later by a public forum about the district's finances. The Jan. 13 forum is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Sylvania Senior Center.

Mr. Rieger said he was releasing the "work-in-progress document" now "because parents and staff members want to know the direction the cuts are headed."

According to the draft, 38 full-time or equivalent teaching positions are on the chopping block at Sylvania's two high schools, 18 at the junior highs, and 23 in the elementary schools.

The cuts would affect all curriculum areas, including regular classrooms, intervention programs, gifted-and-talented education, and summer school. The minimum course credit for high school graduation would be reduced from 23 to 22.

Seventy coaching and advisor positions would be eliminated through the extra-curricular cutbacks, affecting "activities with low participation," and club and class advisors. Participation fees would be instituted for athletics, pool fees at Northview High School would increase, and event transportation would be consolidated.

Between 3.5 and four full-time positions would be dropped from administration, while 10 support staff positions in such areas as paraprofessionals, secretarial, media centers, information technology, maintenance and grounds, transportation, and food service would be cut. Bus stops and routes would be combined and food service reconfigured.



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