WESTERN RESERVE SCHOOLS Number of bus routes reduced to cut costs
The district continues to struggle with costs.
By JoANN JONES
BERLIN CENTER -- Financial concerns will place the Western Reserve Local School District in the category of fiscal caution as of Oct. 31.
At Thursday's meeting at the high school, copies of a letter from the Ohio Department of Education to district treasurer Carol Brobst were given to board members.
The letter stated the district's five-year forecast indicates a deficit for fiscal year 2005 and requested that Brobst submit any adjustments to the forecast by Oct. 31.
She will be forced to show a deficit again because an operating levy, which first failed in November, 2003, failed again in March. The board has placed a 5.6-mill operating levy on the November ballot.
& quot;The treasurer has to send in the figures by Oct. 31, & quot; Superintendent Charles Swindler said, & quot;but if the levy passes the following week, she can amend the figures so that we aren't placed in the fiscal caution category. & quot;
The district is continuing to implement cost-cutting measures, including not replacing a bus driver who retired at the end of last school year and not replacing a bus. As a result, the number of bus routes has been reduced from seven to six.
Swindler cited the advantages of this move, such as each of the district's three buildings having its own bus schedule and starting time and pupils having only pupils from their own school on their bus.
However, he said there are disadvantages to the new system.
& quot;Because of the tight schedule, students must be at their stops, and the bus cannot wait, & quot; he said. & quot;Students cannot ride a different bus either. & quot;
School starts for pupils Sept. 8.
Another cost-cutting measure, according to Swindler, is reducing the number of the district's guidance counselors to only one for the entire district. Dan Ewing, who had been the K-8 counselor, left the district to take a similar position in Boardman and will not be replaced.
In personnel action, the board hired Brian Petruska of Youngstown as a science teacher at the district's starting salary of $27,595. Timothy Styranec of Canfield was hired as a science and math teacher at the same salary.
Gregory Bossick of Brookfield was given a supplemental contract for $1,932 as assistant band director. The resignation of Mark Morris as a social studies teacher was accepted.
The board's next meeting is Sept. 9 at the high school.