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Preschool funding assistance sought by DD board

Bellefontaine Schools Board of Education members learned at their Monday evening meeting that their district, along with other Logan County schools districts, may be asked to contribute toward the costs of educating special education students ages 3-5 beginning in the 2012-13 school year.

Logan County Board of Developmental Disabilities representatives Susan Jones, LCBDD assistant superintendent, and Joy Badenhop, director of educational services, gave a presentation about state budget cuts that have impacted the special education program that is currently housed at the Discovery Center.

Beginning in 1991, the state required local school districts to provide funding for public education for special education pupils ages 3-5. A special task force was formed at this time, and then in 1997, the Logan County Board of Developmental Disabilities was able to assume the costs associated with this program.

However, more recently, the agency has lost tangible personal property tax revenues, along with its former state Department of Developmental Disabilities subsidy. It also has lost funds because of electric deregulations following the passage of Senate Bill 3.

Predicted future cuts include further elimination of tangible personal property tax and reductions to the state share of Medicaid.

A number of staffing reductions have been made for this school year, but beginning next school year, the agency will need additional funding to cover some of its expenses. It is proposing that school districts cover 17 percent of per-pupil costs next school year, and then 18 percent of these costs in the 2013-14 school year.

“We have to come to the districts right now to let them know what our challenges are,” Ms. Badenhop said.

During the financial report, members approved BCS’s five-year financial forecast, which shows year-end balances in the black for the entire forecast. Treasurer Keith Krieger said these balances incorporate funding from the two renewal levies that appear on the Nov. 8 ballot — a 6.05-mill renewal operating levy and a 5-year emergency operating levy.

Members of the Southeastern Elementary School staff also were honored at the meeting for achieving the status as a School of Promise from the Ohio Department of Education, as reported in Saturday’s Examiner. The designation is awarded to schools whose students do well on state tests despite facing economic challenges.

In other action, the board:

• extended supplemental contracts to Jane Kline, head bowling, and Ryan Sawmiller, assistant baseball;

• appointed Tami Johns as a food service employee;

• approved the following staff members as home instruction tutors to be paid at the rate of $18 per hour: Mary Beaverson, Gay Brunswick, Lauren Burkhardt, Adrienne Dearwester, Marilyn Esh, Amanda Fulkerson, Christy Garver, Rita Hall, Barb Horn, Lori Horn, Diann Jordan, Brian LeCrone, Becky Longbrake, Garth McLoed, Janice Miller, Alice Nagy, Amber Newkirk, Keith Pettit, Cindy Plank, Jon Reminder, Jim Roby, Jenny Salyer, Karen Scott, Mary Smith, Ashley Stanford, Amy VanHorn, April Wasinger, Teresa Welch, Robin Williams, Pat Zell and Mindy Zerkle;

• approved the following classified personnel as school tutors to be paid at the rate of $15 per hour: Cheri Cooper, Rosemary LaBatt, Sandy Meyer, Cheryl Mitchell and Scott Stockdale; and

• approved a resolution authorizing the school district to participate in the State of Ohio Cooperative Purchasing Program.

Members approved a motion to meet only once during November, 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14.

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