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Published: Tuesday, 4/21/2009

Maumee schools cut 10 jobs for next year

BY JENNIFER FEEHAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The Maumee Board of Education last night eliminated 10 teachers and librarians for next school year, and officials say it's unknown whether those jobs will be saved if voters approve a new operating levy May 5.

"My hope is nobody will lose a job, but I can't guarantee anything," Gregory Smith, superintendent of schools, said after the meeting. "Let's just go out and get the levy passed."

Maumee voters are being asked to approve a new, continuing 3.9-mill levy. It would generate about $1.9 million a year but would not eliminate the district's need to make cuts.

Treasurer Paul Brotzki told the board the district's revenues are down by $1.2 million this year, nearly $1 million of which is because of the elimination of tangible personal property tax in Ohio. The remainder is because of a loss of real estate taxes and a reduction in investment income, he said.

Mr. Brotzki said the latest budget information from the state indicates Maumee City Schools will receive no increase in state funding next year and a reduction of 2 percent the following year.

Board President Bob Righi said with financial information like that, it's hard to say whether any of the positions eliminated yesterday could be restored if the levy passes. "I'd love to commit to that, but I don't know how we can," he said.

All affected staff members were notified of the cuts a month ago in keeping with terms of their contract and to give them a jump on job hunting, Mr. Smith said.

Among the reductions, librarians at the high school and middle school were cut. The libraries will be staffed by a clerk-librarian who will check out books, but no librarian will be present to aid students with research, Mr. Smith said.

Maumee High School will eliminate its industrial technology class and have one fewer family and consumer science teacher. The high school will lose a science and social studies teacher, Mr. Smith said, meaning fewer electives and larger class sizes.

Board member Glenn Rambo said he was approving the resolution to reduce staff reluctantly. He cited letters submitted to the board by district resident Candace Shugar, a Toledo librarian, and Randy Pozniak of Perrysburg, whose wife, Jane, is among those losing their jobs.

Mr. Rambo said he agreed with much of what was said in both letters about the negative impact the reductions will have on students and the district.

"It's a terrible loss - some of the personnel we'll lose," Mr. Rambo said.

He said the May 5 levy was a chance for the community to show that it values education. "In May, our community will be asked if we'll continue to run this school district and offer the quality of education we have in the past," he said.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at:

jfeehan@theblade.com

or 419-353-5972.



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