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President tells Youngstown school board to plan for cuts

Published: Wed, January 27, 2010 @ 12:08 a.m.

By Harold Gwin

The district is looking for people who want to help renovate Rayen Stadium.

YOUNGSTOWN — The president of the Youngstown Board of Education says the board needs to begin planning for additional reductions in spending for fiscal 2010-11.

Anthony Catale told board members Tuesday that the state fiscal oversight commission controlling district finances hasn’t offered any particular recommendations on how much the district should cut next year, and the board needs to formalize its own reduction plan.

Youngstown was placed under state fiscal emergency in November 2006 when its general fund budget showed it was running a deficit. That resulted in the appointment of a commission to oversee all spending in the district.

Youngstown has since trimmed about $32 million in spending, eliminating 520 jobs in the process, and persuaded voters to approve a four-year, 9.5-mill tax levy to help boost the revenue side of the budget.

Youngstown’s five-year financial forecast looks pretty good right now, but the district must be careful with spending, Catale said.

Treasurer William Johnson, in response to questions from the school board’s finance committee, has suggested that an additional $2 million in spending reductions might be needed to prevent Youngstown from slipping back into the red when the tax levy expires in 2013.

That’s not a definite figure, Catale said, adding that the board will be looking at a reduction plan over the next several weeks.

Efforts will be made to avoid further staffing cuts as the board seeks ways to cut operational spending, he said.

Board member Lock P. Beachum Sr. said the district has some unknown costs coming up, particularly financing a state-mandated Academic Distress Commission that is to begin efforts next month to help Youngstown improve student academic achievement.

The state is sending the commission here because Youngstown was rated in academic emergency on the state’s 2009 local report card, and the state schools superintendent said the cost of the commission must be borne by the district.

In other matters, Ed Matey, in charge of district athletics, health and physical development, announced the district is looking for members of the community interested in helping to refurbish Rayen Stadium on Benita Avenue.

“We’re looking for public support,” he said, adding that means people interested in donating money or their time to the $2.5 million project.

An ad hoc committee is partially formed now, but more members are needed, he said, adding that interested parties should call him directly at (330) 744-6955.

Once the committee is finalized, a capital campaign will be launched, he said.

The 6,000-seat stadium was built when the former Rayen School was erected in 1922. Most of it remains as it was then.

The school was closed in 2007 and torn down as part of a district school rebuilding program, but the stadium is still used by the district’s two middle-school football teams.

The East and Chaney high school teams play their home games at Youngstown State University now, but would call a renovated Rayen Stadium their new home.

The project would include an artificial turf field, expanded parking lot, renovation of the stands and a new building to house locker rooms, public bathrooms and a concession stand.



Youngstown City School Board president Anthony Catale


1palbubba(802 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

Don't look for spending cuts anytime soon. That effort came to a screeching halt once the tax increase was passed as part of the election for change. The only real change is that we slipped into academic emergency as well as financial emergency. I say that if the state oversight on finances can't find a fix, which they haven't in over 3 years, let the state pay for the shortfall.

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2mikeymike(469 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

Who in their right mind would go to Rayen to watch a football game,the thugs will pick off innocent victims.What a waste of money to do anything with the stadium,continue to play at YSU.Someone on the board better start to show commen sense,and learn about basic finances.

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3Ytownnative(1121 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

NOOOOOO Dont cut spending
it has to be that we are not taxed enough. Pretty soon we will have to turn over any assets we have to live in this fine crime free low unemployment city
WOOHOOOO 2010!!!!!!!!!!

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4VINDYAK(1824 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

If we had to turn over our assets, they would have to borrow more money to pay off our debts...

Wait a minute...that might be a good idea!

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5Ytownnative(1121 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

I'm pretty sure I have a pair or two of boots older then him

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6Silence_Dogood(1670 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago


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7Ytownnative(1121 comments)posted 6 years, 5 months ago

and whats wrong with young white teachers?

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