Youngstown schools brace for more cuts

By Harold Gwin

YOUNGSTOWN —The city school board’s finance committee wants the school administration to come up with an additional $2 million in spending cuts to help ensure the district’s financial health.

William Johnson, district treasurer, said Youngstown is on track to emerge from deficit spending in fiscal year 2011.

His latest five-year forecast shows the general fund should end that year with a $7.5 million balance. It will be the first time since 2006 that the district takes in more than it spends without having to borrow money to make ends meet.

However, the district, which spends $9 million a month, should have a balance of at least $18 million, enough to cover two months’ of operation, to be considered financially healthy, he said.

To reach that level, the district would have to look at finding additional revenue or make additional cuts, Johnson told the committee.

Committee members Lock P. Beachum Sr. and Michael Murphy made it clear they’re not interested in any plan that would ask taxpayers for more money.

Come up with a list of additional possible spending reductions, enough to get a balanced budget and secure financial health, Beachum, committee chairman, advised Johnson.

“We have to have the mindset that we’ll never pass a levy,” Murphy added.

Read the full story Monday in The Vindicator and on

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