Benjamin Logan Local Schools Board of Education approved one of two possible reduction plans if its proposed 1.5 percent earned-income tax levy fails Nov. 5.
The levy’s cost is $1.50 for every $100 earned, and would raise some $3.34 million for the purpose of funding current operating expenses for the school district.
The reduction plan had to cut at least $1 million in costs.
Reductions include cutting technology budgets; eliminating the special education director; reducing the athletic/activities director by 10 contractual days; implementing pay to participate; eliminating gifted services; reducing educational aid supports; eliminating all extended-day contracts; reducing school to four days a week; and reducing supplemental contracts.
Dave Harmon, superintendent, said unfortunately both plans were “exceptionally heavy on staff.”
“If it has to happen it’s not good,” he said.
Harmon said the board struggled with the decision about a reduction plan.
“They were almost unable to do this because it’s awful,” he said. “It would be devastating to the school district.
“The goal is to get this thing passed.”
The board, Harmon said, has been cautious as to not give the impression of an ultimatum and “not to tell the voter you need to pass this or else.”
“But the feedback from the community is, ‘What’s the reality,’” he said. “It’s not an ultimatum, but there is a reality to this if we don’t pass (the levy) we have to make significant changes in the way we do business.”
“I think this is good and I’m happy about it and I will vote for it,” Cronkleton said about the proposed 1.5 percent earned-income tax levy.
He said he commends the board for trying to pass the levy.
“I will do my darndest to help you pass it because I think it’s a step in the right direction,” Cronkleton said.
The board also passed a new policy regarding school spending, which mandates the district must maintain at least 90-days cash value on-hand in reserve at all times.
The 90 days cash value is the bottom line, Harmon explained, and when the district has 120 days cash value every year for the five years of the five-year forecast the board will discuss lessening the levy amount for taxpayers.
The 120-day value is currently equivalent to about $6.4 million.
The policy makes it so the board must abide by that practice regardless of who is in office.
In other business the board approved:
• one-year contracts for Rhonda Cook, elementary head cook, and Barn Kensler, high school food service worker
• adding an additional personal day to Joslin Lee
• paying out the remainder of Matt Pennington’s vacation day balance
• employing classified cafeteria substitute Anna McCall effective Oct. 8
• the early graduation of Kenna Elaine Hone
• employing extra duty personnel Jessica Arn and Camille Watson, both high school swimming coaches; Kris Korns, middle school wrestling coach; and Kevin Butler, Jeff Fay and Kyle Seeley, all high school weight room assistant and head coordinators.
There will be a special meeting Monday, Oct. 28, at 5 p.m. in the high school’s auditorium for staff to hear about the reduction plan and give their input.
The next regular meeting will be Nov. 18 in the Central Office and the board will be going over the five-year forecast.