Cuts, changes planned to save $1.1M
The state will now look at the district's fiscal plan.
By ERIC GROSSO
BROOKFIELD -- After being placed on state fiscal watch earlier this month, Brookfield school district announced plans to avoid being put on fiscal emergency.
About 150 Brookfield residents packed the high school cafeteria to take part in Wednesday's monthly meeting.
The most significant planned cut would be the reduction of classified employees, which would save the district about $1.1 million, said Superintendent Michael Notar. He didn't announce specific numbers of employee cuts.
The closing of Addison Elementary will save the district $180,000. Notar said the district has daily problems with the decaying building, and enrollment projections next year would require only five or six classrooms.
He said the pupils could be put into other district schools, and the class sizes would be well within state minimum requirements.
"We need to get this district [to] where it needs to be financially," Notar told the crowd. "It's happening all around us in society, but we need to be responsible."
Notar also announced that administrators had been open to concessions, which will save the district about $108,000 for the 2006-07 school year.
Small changes in food services will save close to $80,000 while still providing meals to all schools in the district next year.
The library in Brookfield Elementary School would be cut, but all other services and academics would remain the same, officials said.
The total cuts will save the district around $1.5 million by the end of the 2006-07 school year.
The plan must now be sent to the Ohio State Superintendent of Public Instruction for approval. If the plan is not approved, the district will be placed under fiscal emergency, which would result in the state Financial Planning and Supervision Commission's taking over all or some of the school board's functions.
The commission would then formulate its own plan to get the district out of fiscal emergency.
"We're trying to stay one step ahead of the state," Notar said. "We can promise that the doors will be open next year, and the students will still receive a great education."
Notar also cleared up recent rumors that he was going to step down from his position.
"I'm contracted until the end of the next school year," he said. "I hope to be here long after the 2006-07 years ends."
After the announced cuts were made, the board took part in a question-and-answer session with the crowd.
Many citizens wondered if the board was content with the district's meeting only the state minimums.
"Even with the cuts we're making, we're well above the state minimums," Notar said.