canfield schools Zambrini: District now faces more cuts

By christine keeling


The schools superintendent says more cuts are to come after voters rejected the district’s bid for funds for the third time.

A 4.9-mill operating levy for the Canfield Local School District was defeated Tuesday with about 56 percent of voters opposed.

“All operations will be reviewed,” Dante Zambrini, the district’s superintendent, said Wednesday. “The board will have to make tough decisions.”

The district will have to find ways to save additional money and could cut more positions, implement larger class sizes or eliminate curricula that fall outside core academics, he said.

The levy would have cost homeowners $8.68 a month per $100,000 of their home’s value and generated more than $2.7 million a year for the district. The total out-of-pocket expense a homeowner would have paid to the district would have lessened to $6.13 per $100,000 after the first year, when an existing bond expired.

Adrianne Sturm, school board vice president, said she was disheartened by the levy’s failure but optimistic that the numbers in favor of it grew.

Opposition on two prior levies was 58 percent.

The district slashed its budget by $3.6 million, after 6.8-mill levies failed in November 2010 and May. Personnel cuts comprised $1.2 million of the savings, while enacting pay-to-participate in sports and academic clubs, eliminating high-school busing and cutting classified personnel saved $548,500. Contract concessions by the district’s unions will total $1.9 million over three years.

“Reductions, cuts and concessions alone will not balance the budget,” said Zambrini.

Sturm said she believes the community and board have many points in common when it comes to the student’s education.

“When it’s all said and done, we will continue to provide the best education for our students within the means that have been provided,” said Sturm.

The district’s five-year forecast, filed with the state in October, shows $1,217,559 in deficit spending in fiscal year 2011; $555,500 in 2012; $1,331,000 in 2013; $1,683,343 in 2014; $2,100,000 in 2015 and $2,581,000 in 2016. Those shortfalls are projected to tap into the district’s cash balance and could create a $2,566,473 deficit for the district in 2016.

With the failure of the levy, the district will receive no new money in 2012. If a levy were to pass in 2012, the district wouldn’t receive the revenue until 2013.

The district has not had a new operating levy since 2002, Zambrini said.

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