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Austintown board cuts school personnel

Published: Tue, April 26, 2011 @ 12:04 a.m.


Austintown Superintendent Vince Colaluca

By Kristine Gill


Members of the school board cited “financial difficulties” Monday in eliminating 12 full-time teaching positions, nine full-time nonteaching employees, and 16 part-time nonteaching positions.

More than 100 additional positions were not renewed as part of annual evaluations of those positions and personnel, many of which are non-teaching or parttime.

The district is facing a loss of $1.7 million for next school year, said Superintendent Vince Colaluca and Treasurer Mary Ann Herschel. The two gave an update on the state of the schools at the beginning of the meeting, citing concerns about the governor’s budget and its expected impact.

“We are trying to save jobs not eliminate them,” said Louis Chine, board vice president. “Almost all of the other school districts around us are smaller than we are and making more cuts than we are.”

In the meantime, school officials are taking a close look at a long list of non-renewed positions such as tutors, bus drivers and custodial staff to see whether any money can be saved in not having some of those employees return next year. Colaluca expects to have more answers at the next board meeting at 6 p.m. May 17.

Some of these cuts might not be necessary as the district’s finances become clearer later this year.

Of the 12 full-time teaching positions that were eliminated, nine were due to retirements.

Of the 16 part-time non-teaching positions and nine full-time nonteaching employees, 11 were paraprofessionals, nine were sweepers or cleaners, four were bus drivers and one was a secretary.

Nine long-term substitute-teaching positions were not renewed due to pregnancies or medical issues.

For the past two years, the district received federal stimulus money through the state budget under former Gov. Ted Strickland’s administration. Though Gov. John Kasich’s budget increases state aid to schools, it does not make up for the money lost when those temporary stimulus funds disappear next year.

That loss, coupled with losses in tangible personal property tax, which is being re-evaluated by the state, means the district will have $1.7 million less for the 2012-13 school year.

“There are definitely changes that need to happen for us to continue offering these services to students,” Herschel said.

A little more than $1 million is available through a federal education jobs fund awarded to the district this year but not spent. Herschel said the money can be used next school year.


1lee(544 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

That's 15 non teaching positions, why does a SCHOOL need so many non teachers

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2Philo(99 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

This all goes back to the fact that 84% of the average Ohio School district's budget goes to salaries and benefits. Why couldn't the Austintown School employees accept a modest cut in pay and benefits, across the board, so these jobs could be preserved? I really don't think a 5% or 6% reduction in pay and benefits would sink any household and it would save jobs and positions. I understand that no one wants to go backwards but the private sector has been moving in that direction for many years now. Hopefully, if the millions of taxpayers across the state uphold SB 5, the district won't have to eliminate these positions.

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3Wapiti(139 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Why can't this school board take the pay cut they deserve? They are paid way more than they're worth. This board should have at least a 50% cut in their pay. When that happens I'll support any school levy. Besides it's their fault Austintown schools are in the sad financial shape they are. Man up school board and take your 50% pay cut. Every little bit helps. : )

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4AtownParent(565 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Not only does the school board need to take a cut, but there is no need for all the administration in the buildings either. Each grade does not need a principal. Also, the treasurer who retired was hired into a new position created in the district this year.

As for the non-teaching positions, because everyone's mother, brother, sister needs to have a job too.

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5seminole(476 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Read this and follow suit, Boardman. Far too many school "psychologists" and "guidance" personnel waiting for the next jackass to create some horrible dilema so they can have a reason to have something to do. Too many personnel that are not relative to the actual teaching, which is why I thought our kids go to school. Too much of the programs providing kumbyah moments, lets all get along workshops for kids, whaaa, whaa. We pay taxes for our kids to be taught, not turned into smiling robots that funnel through the halls, being taught for the Ohio Acheivement Tests rather than learning common sense and core academics. The school isn't there to tell our kids they all should get along, they are there to teach our kids academics. Leave the rest to the parents, instead of running the kids out the doors and bringing home hours of homework because the teacher is overwhelmed with the discipline trash in our schools.

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62muchtax(711 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

It has always been a joke that there is a principal for every grade at Fitch. Check the Ytown schools they don't have that. Another taxpayer rip off! No new levys till some of this nonsense stops!! Quit all the nepotism. SB5 has been needed for years!

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