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Published: Tuesday, 3/23/2010

Budget talk set in Perrysburg

BLADE STAFF

Perrysburg school officials will hold a public meeting tomorrow to give information to parents, community leaders, and other residents about the state of school funding in Ohio and the economy, and the impact on the district.

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the Commodore Building auditorium, 140 East Indiana Ave.

School administrators will provide a list of reductions that has been developed to make up for a projected $3.1 million gap in the district's budget for the next fiscal year. The school board will take action in April on the list.

With 80 percent of the district's budget tied to personnel costs, a reduction in employees is necessary to balance the budget, and 60 percent of the reductions on the list are related to personnel.

Letters in early March were given to 64 staff members who might receive a reduction-in-force letter after the April 13 board meeting, and to 17 county employees whose contracts would not be renewed. Employees who received notices included teachers, support staff, administrators, and paraprofessionals.

Reductions under consideration do not include posi-tions such as custodians, food service employees, and bus drivers, but cutbacks in hours and other cost-saving measures would impact their jobs, according to school officials.

The district anticipates issuing notices to more employees than actually would be laid off because multiple options can arise through the collective-bargaining bumping process.

Because district's budget and revenue streams weekly and because of employee retirements, the reduction plan is subject to change.

The district is struggling to cope with revenue projected to decline by about $2.8 million. 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 enrolls 4,706 students.



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