Northmor to trim budget $200k: no staff cuts for 2012/2013
By RANDA WAGNER –
After a lengthy executive session at Thursday night’s regular board meeting, Supt. Dr. Brent Winand announced cuts at Northmor were being made because of ‘declining dollars flowing to us from the state.’
That’s the bad news. The good news? No one is losing their job this year to balance the books.
“Our cuts will come without anyone losing a job or being moved from one position to another,” Winand said, “We’re very fortunate. We will make up our cuts through retirements (not being replaced). Some are retiring and being replaced with folks that will make a lot less money than what the veteran (employees) make. We are going to make our curriculum director’s position part time, with the principals and superintendent picking up more of the responsibility, and we will be restructuring our administrative assignments.”
The board is recommending cuts totaling about $212,952.00 at this point, but Winand warned there could be more.
“We’ll know a little better in the summer when we get our last quarter of collections,” he explained. “Our revenue is down at the local level in addition to the state level. Income tax collection is down, property tax collection is down, and this will mean $600,000 of cuts in the last two years. As an educator, I don’t know how that can continue. It’s a shame that budgets are balanced at the state level on children that are trying to go to school.”
Winand emphasized the new building had ‘absolutely nothing to do with the cuts being made.’
“In fact this building – maybe thanks to the winter we had – is operating for much less per square foot in operational costs than our other buildings,” he said. “We knew that would be the case and it was even better than we expected. If we had the revenue we had two years ago, we’d be in great shape. But we don’t. There’s no guarantee it will improve soon.”
The adjustments include going from four principals to three, with one assistant principal.
“The state has the ability to balance their budget by not sending money to the local level,” he said. “Local governments and school don’t have that ability. So the only thing schools can do is either cut from their programs and costs or go to the public and ask for additional dollars. Our board has committed themselves to not ask the public for additional dollars. So we have no choice but to make cuts.”
Winand said the board believes they can come up with the dollar amount – at this point – to make it one more year.
“After that, we don’t know – we shall see,” he said.
In other business, the board accepted a bid for replacement of bleachers from Farnham Equipment for $153,000.00. Winand reiterated funds for the bleacher work come from the capital improvement fund – not the general fund. Funds for the capital improvement fund came from local monies (no OSFC dollars) left over from the school construction project when the project was completed under budget. Capital improvement dollars cannot be used for anything but improvements to the physical school building and grounds.
The bleachers are being replaced due to safety concerns, and Winand said Farnham’s bid was the lowest by $21,000.00.
The board agreed to extend a 20-year lease to Washington Township for a dollar a year with the condition if the land ceases to be used for the community, it reverts to the control of the school districts and the lease will be broken.
“The township would possibly like to do some improvements to the property they lease, such as upgrade the playground, do some work on the ballfields things like that, but are reluctant to do too much with a short term lease,” Winand said.
The board was prepared to recognize student Kristine Pfister for having her artwork selected as “Top Twenty-Five” in the 2012 Ohio Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition, but she was unable to attend teh April 19 meeting. She will be recognized at the May meeting instead.
Under principal’s reports, Elementary Principal Deb Ruhl reported Spring pictures were taken the second week of April. Ohio Achievement Assessment tests were scheduled for April 24, 26 and May 1 for elementary students.
Kindergarten screening will be May 2 and 3, and May 8 the junior high and high school bands-will have a concert. Preceding their concerts, the 5th and 6th grades are to have a concert at 7 p.m.
“Also, I want to say thank you to the board for their leadership and thank you to the community for their vision in allowing this building to be built,” Ruhl said. “This has been an amazing experience to be here and see all the technology, and see the kids just enjoying it and growing with it. It’s also great the teachers are able to work together in one building and provide better education for the kids.”
Ruhl also said the PALS program (FFA program where older students would go to Iberia and Johnsville and work with the elementary students) had been dropped due to transporation issues between buildings. “But Mr. Parrot and Mrs. Henshaw worked together and got that program going again,” she reported. “A lot of kids are in the program.”
In other busines, the board:
- Appointed board member Carlyle Smith as Athletic Counsel.
- Accepted a donation of blood pressure equipment from the Morrow County Society for Crippled Children and Adults, Inc.
- Approved the Guarantee Trust Life Insurance Company as the Voluntary Student Accident Insurance provider for the 2012–2013 school year.
- Approve Julian and Grube, Inc. to perform the GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) audit for a three year period starting fiscal year 2012, at a rate of $4,100.00 per year.
- Approved the revised Northmor Board of Education Policy JEB, “Mandatory Kindergarten” (Early Entrance). This moves the August 1– Sept. 30 dates for early entrance students to August 1 thru January 1 and makes Northmor’s policy consistent with the Ohio Dept. of Education practice.
- Approved the 2012–2013 Mid-Ohio ESC Contract in the amount of $227,917.00.
Under the Superintendent’s Employment Recommendations, the board approved to:
- Accept the letter of retirement from Sandy LaLiberte, a 33 year employee, effective May 31, 2012
- Employ Sandy LaLiberte under the Northmor Retire/Rehire Policy for the 2012–2013 school year.
- Approved twenty extended days for Eve Miller, Technology Coordinator, at her per diem rate, for the purpose of conducting maintenance on district technology during the months of June, July and August.
- Accepted the letter of retirement from Bernice Walters, Title I Instructor and 20 year employee and from Bonnie Wiseman, classroom aide and 22-year employee, both effective the end of the 2011–2012 school year; and from Rita Wallace, Speech Therapist, effective May 31, 2012.
- Employ: Jeff Hubschman to serve as an assistant bus mechanic at the rate of $7.70 per hour, not to exceed 160 hours. This position exists to assist in preparing buses for annual inspection and will be effective May 1, 2012;
Employ beginning with the 2012–2013 school year: Chad Redmon to a 3 year contract for the position of high school principal; Lynn Beveridge as a teacher for a 1 year contract; Kara Blevins as a teacher for a 3 year contract; Hilary Bunting as a guidance counselor for a 3 year contract; Christine Coe as special education coordinator for a 3 year contract; Kirtina Hile as a teacher for a 3 year contract; Julie Hollis as a teacher for a 3 year contract; Emily Irwin as a teacher for a 3 year contract; Cari Johnson as a teacher for a 3 year contract; Jody Johnson as a teacher for a 1 year contract; Lisa Keddie as a teacher for a 3 year contract; Jack Kegley as the After School Program Coordinator for a 1 year contract; Mary Koons as a teacher for a 3 year contract; Tim Laird as a teacher for a 1 year contract; Ashley Lusetti as a teacher for a 1 year contract; Patty Parrott as a teacher for a 3 year contract; Melissa Radel as a teacher for a 3 year contract; Chad Richards as a teacher for a three year contract; Kevin Ruhl as a teacher for a continuing contract; Michael Skelton as a guidance counselor for a 1 year contract; Laura Smith as a teacher for a 1 year contract; Kara Sutton as a teacher for a continuing contract; Amy Tobin as a teacher for a 2 year contract; Karly Watterson as a teacher for a 3 year contract; Chris Wiseman as a teacher for a 3 year contract; Vicki Brubaker as a cook for a 1 year contract; Dayle Lambert as a cook for a 1 year contract; Mauria Rader as a bus driver for a continuing contract; Dean VanHorn as bus mechanic for a 1 year contract; Greg Liberti as a custodian for a continuing contract; John Smith as a custodian for a 2 year contract; and Rev. William Sharp to a presonal services contract to serve asa tutor for an elementary student that speaks Portuguese at a rate of $25 per hour, five days per week.