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City schools may consider 4-day week for savings



Published: Wed, January 14, 2009 @ 12:06 a.m.

photo

Youngstown City Schools superintendent Dr. Wendy Webb

By John w. Goodwin jr.

A shorter school week and more cuts in personnel are among items the superintendent proposed be studied.

YOUNGSTOWN — School officials here say they have been good stewards of the public’s money, but if the state cuts funding to the district, drastic changes may be needed.

Schools Superintendent Wendy Webb told school board members Tuesday that the district could be operating in the black by $1.7 million by 2011, taking into account the $5.2 million a recently passed levy will generate. Those figures, however, will need to be adjusted if the state cuts funding to the district.

According to district Treasurer William Johnson, state funding accounts for 80 percent, or about $65 million, of the district’s budget. Johnson and Webb told board members the district could lose up to 10 percent of that should the state scale back funding to make up for budgetary concerns at the state level.

Webb introduced a list of possible cost-reducing measures the district could put into place if that happens. She hopes to meet with board members twice a month in the coming month to discuss the changes.

One point of those discussions could be the transition to four-day school weeks, Webb said. Under that schedule, she said, each school day would be longer, but all schools would be closed on Friday.

The change in school days could save the district about $599,000, Webb said, noting that a school district in Kentucky uses a similar system.

“It would not minimize the instruction, it simply reorganizes and looks at how you manage your resources,” she said. “If in fact the governor does this, we have got to look at something creative to maintain and go forward.”

Another idea up for consideration could be the reorganization of the administrative building on Rayen Avenue. Webb said administrative offices would be located in various district buildings and pupils placed at the Rayen Avenue building.

That would enable the elimination of two supervisory and two administrative positions for a savings of about $350,000, she said.

Webb also mentioned reducing personnel by seven maintenance workers, 15 teachers and two security guards. The reductions, she said, would save the district more than $1.7 million.

Potential savings on transportation by reducing busing to state minimums was also discussed. State minimums would mean the elimination of busing for high school students and younger pupils living within two miles of their schools, she said.

The superintendent said it’s important to note that all the potential changes discussed with the board are open for future debate and depend largely on what happens with state funding.

“This is contingent upon what the state does. Every district subsidized by the state is holding their breath,” she said. “None of this is set in stone. We are at the mercy of the state.”


Comments

1aeparish(669 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

This woman is out of her mind.

"It would not minimize the instruction" -- you're already at your minimum -- there's nothing left to minimize! These kids aren't learning anything worthwhile to begin with.

"Webb also mentioned reducing personnel by seven maintenance workers, 15 teachers and two security guards" -- so, get rid of 15 teachers? Unless you're getting rid of the ones that are worthless, how is laying off teachers going to benefit the education of these students (not that it's of the greatest quality to begin with...)? And get rid of the security guards, too?

Bad move, Wendy. Giving these kids an extra day off from school is only giving them an extra day to be out on the streets doing who knows what. Oh, but don't worry, Wendy -- even though they won't be in school, they'll still be learning on that fifth day of the week. Learning to sell and use drugs, learning to steal, and learning to murder -- just as many of their parents have.

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2allstar720(253 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

this is what happens when funds are cut off to school systems because of nclb. these are the hard decisions that have to be made. you could do a 4 day week if the days were longer. i disagree with giving them friday off. if there is ever a bone headed notion in this plan it is that they would have friday off. fridays are football game days and fridays start the weekend and the bad kids will be wild and crazy from thursday night through saturday. instead, i'd give them monday off. it makes much more sense then friday.

but for all of you worrying fools, don't worry this will never happen. it's being floated to scare the state into not cutting off more funding. there are way too many things standing in the way of a 4 day week, including labor contracts, for it to ever be a reality.

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3stubbs(1 comment)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Ever Since Wendy Web has been in her postion she has made unnecessary changes in our schools (Central High School for example) that are causing more problems then there has to be. As a former and recent student I have to say that she is the reason for the chain reaction of so many kids having problems attaining their education. Now she's cutting school back a day? Our schools are already minimalized, and now this? She is confused and unqualified, and always has been.

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4TheLostPatrol(756 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I say that first let the "Private Sector" announce that they will be going to four-day work weeks, then let the "Public Sector" follow, too. What right do these government-funded (by the taxpayer) entities have to make such a bold decision without first having the voters that fund such government funded entities allow it to happen. Now, if all the employees want to forfeit 20% of their salaries and benefits, since one day is equivalent to 20% of the work week, then maybe it might be a cost saving measure for the School Board to entertain. That would put Wendy at $88K, down from $110K.

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5aeparish(669 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Lost... from what I understood by reading this article, they would be eliminating one day of school each week, but they would be making the other days longer. So, I think Mz. Webb is attempting to keep the same amount of hours the normal five-day school week would have, just condensed to four days. With that said, the teachers would be putting in the same amount of hours (but still not teaching the kids squat).

I don't know, that's just what I gathered. I could be wrong though.

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6cozmo(32 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I think a 4 day school week is an excellent idea, especially if it saves jobs and money.

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7metz87(884 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

now if only Austintown schools would consider the same tihng t osave money,not open enrollment.

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8cozmo(32 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

"Kentucky's First Public School District to Implement a 4 Day School Week
Webster County School System has had tremendous success with our 4 day school week. Not only have we lowered our budget, but we have provided many benefits to the students, and staff of Webster County."

http://www.webster.k12.ky.us/About/4D...

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9Lizp(2 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Oh MY Goodness,
This woman has totally lost it. She wants to go to a four day week, yeah that is real bright, that just gives these kids more time to be out in the streets causing havic. Let me tell you about last Tuesday, at Volleny there was a young lady ATTACKED not by one student but by 25 students and there was NO SECURITY. When the mother of this young lady called Wendy she was informed that yes there were suppose to be security BUT because of the DEFICET the security had been cut. What if it had been one of WENDY's children? would the Deficet had mattered then? To top off this call to Wendy this mother was told that in order to INSURE her daughter's saftey she (the mother) might want to consider HOME SCHOOLING her daughter. WHAT???? People PLEASE Let's put someone in the position that has the best interest and SAFTEY of our children at heart rather then their own bank account.

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10ismileuponyou(5 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Youngstown Schools are completely inadequate, but less we forget the home dynamics of over half the children attending them. The fund are simply not there to pay the higher taxes to generate the same quality of education that children of the Poland or Canfield Schools receive. Is it fair? No, not at all. It is reality; yes it is. A solution must be met, however no one want to do without, yet no one is willing or able to pay to keep the current, albeit substandard level, of education up. I do not think a four day school week is the answer. It would be counterproductive to keeping the streets of Youngstown and it's surrounding communities safe. If you offer these children nothing constructive they in turn, will have nothing constructive to offer the community. That is why the Department of Job and Family Services is inundated with half educated dim-wits who get pregnant before they turn eighteen, baby's mamas, baby's daddy's, and the city has one of the highest crime rates per capita. These recipients of welfare will offer their children the same self-perpetuating cycle of substandard living. Honestly, the best thing the city can do for it's children is to let the state come in and fix the errors of the past and get the city back where it needs to be. Will it ever be where it was? Probably not, but at least it will be better than where it is now.

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11bdmndocgirl(3 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Most of these comments are stating that it would be a bad thing to put kids "on the street" for one day a week to cause problems. Are you kidding me!? So lets identify the elephant in the living room - if kids roam the streets committing crime, why aren't they arrested and put in jail???? The real problem here is that the juvenile justice program (probation as well as courts) use the city schools as free incarceration. Violent kids, criminals, bullies, and even felons are "ordered" to be in school by the same system that is not doing it's job to keep the city safe from some juvenile offenders. "Mediation" programs and other diversion programs aren't keeping crime down, they're just alternatives to keep conviction statistics down, therefore making it appear that crime is reduced. Ask the residents of Youngstown if their kids feel safe in school - or on the walk to and from, then you can analyze from a real perspective, not a statistical one, if the system is working. Ask the administrators if they can expell a student who is ordered by the court to attend school? Maybe I'm commenting out of turn, and if someone in the justice system can prove me false, I'd welcome the opportunity to apologize, but from what I've seen over the years, this is what is happening.

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