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Published: Tuesday, 7/1/2008

Anthony Wayne details cost cuts

BY CARL RYAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Anthony Wayne Local School District Superintendent John Granger, left, and board President Don Atkinson confer at the district administration building in Whitehouse. The district is asking voters to approve two levy requests on the ballot. If passed, the measures would increase annual revenue by $6 million. Anthony Wayne Local School District Superintendent John Granger, left, and board President Don Atkinson confer at the district administration building in Whitehouse. The district is asking voters to approve two levy requests on the ballot. If passed, the measures would increase annual revenue by $6 million.
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Teacher layoffs, reductions in bus service, and a pay-to-play requirement for sports and extracurricular activities are all on the table if voters in the Anthony Wayne Local School District turn down requests for two operating levies next month.

At a meeting of the Board of Education yesterday, Superintendent John Granger said those cuts and others would be needed to trim spending by $1.9 million if both the district's 3.3-mill requests are rejected Aug. 5.

He recommended furloughing three kindergarten through eighth-grade teachers, a foreign language teacher, a guidance counselor, six secretaries, five custodians, two nurses, and a bus driver, and not renewing a contract with Whitehouse police for a school resource officer.

Under Mr. Granger's recommendations, bus service would be eliminated for students living within two miles of their school, and all buildings housing kindergartners through sixth graders would close at the end of the school day, making them unavailable for activities.

The adoption of one levy would make the cuts avoidable, but the district would have to return to the voters soon, Mr. Granger said.

Pay-to-participate would aim to offset the $479,000 the district spends on extracurriculars, said Ron Donnal, a parent in the district who headed a study committee formed to examine the issue.

A full pay-to-participate program, which paid for everything, would cost $265 per sport or for music and band participation.

Clubs would be $160 per activity, according to Mr. Donnal.

A less costly option - paying about half the district's cost - would impose a $550 family cap each year and charge staggered fees.

The boards of the Northwood Local and Otsego Local schools this year have adopted pay-to-participate plans for their districts.

"Is there anything in this list that you absolutely cannot live with?" Mr. Granger asked the board after delivering his recommendations.

There were no objections.

The two levy requests would raise $6 million annually.

One request is a renewal of an emergency tax adopted in 2003 that generates $3 million a year and expires at the end of 2008.

The other is a new tax that would raise an additional $3 million annually.

Both levies would run for five years.

On March 4, voters in the 4,400-student district turned down a 6.5-mill levy request that would have generated $6 million annually.

The new request comes to 6.6 mills because of a rounding requirement.

Contact Carl Ryan at:

carlryan@theblade.com

or 419-206-0356.



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