TEMPERANCE — The Bedford Public school board last week approved two cost-cutting measures included in its plan to balance the district’s budget by the end of the 2014-15 school year.
The board eliminated one of two resource officer positions from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, and switched the district’s school year to semesters from trimesters in 2013-14.
Eliminating the position held by Deputy Randy Sehl will save $80,000 annually, while the transition to semesters starting next academic year will trim expenses by $250,000 the first year it is in effect.
The votes were 5-1 on both items, with board member Shawna Smith absent. Member Joe Gore, a sheriff's deputy himself, cast the no vote on the resource officer's position.
In explaining his no vote on the changeover to semesters, member Tim Brakel said he was not against semesters per se, but opposed the seven-period school day the change would entail, believing it would not allow enough opportunity for advanced placement courses and would “push students to private schools.”
The district currently has a five-period day.
Deputy Sehl’s last day was Thursday. He has returned to regular duties for the sheriff’s office, where he has been assigned to the Bedford Township substation on Jackman Road. The school district retains Deputy Randy Krupp.
The nonprofit BSP CARES raised more than $35,000 to pay for Deputy Sehl’s position, but donations have dwindled and it is discontinuing its efforts. At last week’s meeting, school board president Michael Smith thanked Amy Driehorst and Regina Whalen, the group’s founders, and Deputy Sehl for their service.
The switch to semesters is subject to agreement with the district’s unions because it changes work conditions, Interim Superintendent Jon White said.
It will save money by eliminating three to four teachers at the junior high and senior high schools as the district offers fewer electives.
In other business, the board recognized two of its members, Dale Barton and Jessica Pienta, who are stepping down at the end of the year. It also paid tribute to seniors Kelsey Stark, a four-year state qualifier in swimming, and Ben Wexler, an all-state academic and cross country runner.
The board also recognized the senior high girls’ golf team for earning academic all-state honors. Honored are seniors Jordan Borowiak, Maggie Brown, Elizabeth Joyce, and Danielle Koepke, and junior Hannah Kochendorfer.
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