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Liberty BOE OKs $1.2M in cuts



Published: Tue, January 24, 2012 @ 12:15 a.m.

photo

Liberty Board of Education President Joe Nohra, right, reads a list of more than $1 million in cuts to district personnel as board Vice President David Malone looks on. The cuts will go into effect at the beginning of fiscal year 2013, which begins July 1.

By Robert Guttersohn

rguttersohn@vindy.com

Liberty

The board of education on Monday unanimously approved $1.2 million in personnel cuts, a process Superintendent Stan Watson called “gut wrenching.”

The cuts will take effect next fiscal year, which begins July 1.

They include the layoffs of two administrative positions: supervisor of maintenance/transportation, and the cafeteria supervisor.

In addition, seven teaching positions will be eliminated and several positions will switch to part time.

Including cuts already implemented for this fiscal year, Liberty school district will head into 2013 $1.7 million leaner than years before.

“It’s been a tremendously difficult process to go through,” said Watson.

The cuts are required from the fiscal commission, a board of five that is charged by the Ohio Department of Education with bringing the district out of fiscal emergency. The commission meets Monday to approve the cuts.

Watson said members of the fiscal commission provided direction on where to cut first, looking for the least amount of impact on education.

He said the most difficult part was putting names to the cuts.

Board President Joe Nohra said he felt the administration took its time during the decision process.

“I felt the administration did a very sincere job for us,” Nohra said.

In November, the state Controlling Board approved a $1.9 million interest-free advance to the district, covering its deficit for the next two years. The advance must be repaid to the state within that time period.

But there is still a $700,000 gap between the cuts and the district’s deficit, leaving Liberty with either increasing revenue with a levy or making additional cuts in 2013.

Board member Diana DeVito called Monday’s reduction plan absolutely necessary but painful.

“We don’t take pleasure in seeing people lose their positions,” she said.

She then addressed the community, who filled the high school’s community room making it standing room only, saying there is no more room for cuts in the budget.

“Where [in the budget] are we going to find this amount of money?” she said.

The board briefly addressed a Vindicator article Sunday on the district’s former conversion schools LEARN and LEAD, which told how the district’s association with the conversion schools prevented it from dealing with its own budget issues.

DeVito, who is the only person currently on the board when the schools were approved in 2009, said what happened is in the past and that the district is united now. “We moved on a long time ago,” she said. “We have no secrets.”

State auditors are still looking over Liberty schools’ 2010 and 2011 budget and have yet to determine if there are any findings for recovery.

  Liberty Board of Education

The Liberty Board of Education announced more than one million dollars in cuts during a January 23, 2012 meeting.

The Liberty Board of Education announced more than one million dollars in cuts during a January 23, 2012 meeting.


Comments

1UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

All can be saved if only the Liberty school employees agree to pay a reasonable amount for their healthcare and eliminate step increases. They haven't and it's obvious they don't give a flip about kids education in Liberty. Never believe that levies are about the kids because they aren't.

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2Superstar7(122 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

To "forever union":
Rid the school system (and Post Offices) of the crushing burdens of the Unions, make these systems American, make them competitive, MAKE THEM COMPETITIVE and the financial burdens & obstacles 100% generated by the unions will allow the Liberty Schools to prosper, as they do in non-union enviornments. The Liberty School cuts do not address the underlying problem: union wages, union benefits & union legacy cost the township can NOT afford.

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3nolongerdemocrat(4 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

I agree with falconeddy. Also, cut the teachers more kids in a classroom. Watch how many students withdraw and go to other schools. It is not about the kids. It is about the teachers pay.

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4DwightK(1292 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

I support teachers and the Liberty school board has clearly screwed up its finances but pay cuts should be coming. The board has cut expenses by eliminating as many positions as it can. The next step is to divide the $700,000 shortfall among the remaining employees and reduce pay. Those who are unwilling to take the cuts are free to look for employment elsewhere.

There's no need to ask the voters for a levy.

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5commoncitizen(961 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

NO MORE NEW LEVIES/TAXES!!
The unions wanted SB5out now let them take pay cuts(or job loses) to help adjust the shortfalls.
Are you people that were AGAINST SB5 happy yet?

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6lib(12 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

The former board president, Diane DeVito, who wasted money and now is complaining that they have not had new revenue since 1995, claims that she has moved on and has no secrets. Questions for Diane? Do you realize that taxpayers pay one of the highest rates in Trumbull County? Are you negotiating another ridiculous contract, a contract that has not been changed since 2008? Are you keeping secrets about this contract and giving away the store again? Do you think you should apologize for wasting the taxpayers money? As part of the "Lead and Learn" fiasco, don't you think you should do us all a favor and resign? Do you think you and Flannagan should forget traveling to Columbus to attend Board conferences or pay for it yourself since we are broke and will continue to be broke for a long time? And, finally, do you really think anyone in this community will vote for a new levy? No way. More cuts coming. How can you move on? Are you in denial or just arrogant about your performance as a board member? Do you also think that the school board members should refuse pay for each of their meetings? We have no money to pay the dedicated members. Great job Vindicator. I hope they continue to expose the truth and secrets that Diane doesn't think exist.

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7lib(12 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Couple more questions for Diane. She wants open enrollment again. Did you not previously blame open enrollment for the loss of students and our money? Students left for other schools and Liberty gets to pay for them. Great job. So, why are you bringing this up again?
And, what about the $1.3 million stimulus money? Can we trust that this money was spent correctly?

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8AnotherAverageCitizen(1175 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

Great attitudes people. You must support Romney who likes to "fire" people. Don't support your kids school. Don't support your police and fire depts.

It amazes me you are the same people supporting companies from Texas and other states coming to our communities, dumping waste into our ground and very possibly creating earthquakes.

Support the out of staters. " Not our own" ..... IDIOTS

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9aztek519(29 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

I would like to point out that I work in a non-union district in a right-to-work state. We pay substantially for our health insurance and other benefits and have not received a step increase or cost-of-living increase since 2008. In addition, we have had 3 furlough days for the past 4 years (Some districts around me had as many as 8 furloughs), and increased class size. We are the perfect example of doing more with less. However, we have experienced NO layoffs and our district is financially sound. Do you think this would have happened in a union district? Hell no.

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10AnotherAverageCitizen(1175 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

aztec,
many school teachers here also pay for their bene's. Some have done the same as your school and just agreed to pay freezes. Our Gov would like to pu 60 kids a classroom, do you feel the students would get good attention from the teacher?

When sb5 was forced on teahers, we did not hear the teachers reaaly complain about paying for bene's. It was mainly about bargaining rights being ripped away.

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112muchtax(379 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

It's the 4to6000 retirement benefits that are given to people in the 50's that need to pay for the next 40yrs that are going to kill the taxpayers. Pretty hefty for a part time job

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12skittles(7 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

People, read Sundays paper for the details but this is not about the teachers. The LBOE dropped the ball on this one. The current board has one person who was a board member at the time of this fiasco. Elected officials are supposed to represent the people from the community they work for. They are expected to make thoughtful,educated and informed decisions. The notion that by accepting the promises they were told; they would have double-funding is ludicrous. Who would believe that? There are many unanswered questions such as why and how. Where were the checks and balances and for the love of God where is obermiyer and lucas .Just remember next time you votewho you don't want in. Most of the current Board members and the superintendant were not a board member at the time of the neglegent decision by the board to go ahead with this joke. If, as an adult, you can't see that somes things are too good to be true that is pathetic. Even my 4 yr old grand-daughter knows when something is not real. In regards to one of her dolls she reassured me"Grandma, my doll is not real she is just pretend....she has button eyes after all". Hopefully our current board knows how to spot button eyes.

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13lib(12 comments)posted 2 years, 10 months ago

If you want to see teacher salaries, here is the website: http://ohiocasb.org/about/school-sala...
Teachers do not make $13 an hour. Include their "Cadillac" health plan and their step increases and their pensions and their 3 month vacation and their sick days, they do quite well. Even the State Commission said there was personnel excessiveness in this district. Well, look where their greediness got them. Of course, it was the board that approved the contract and "Lead and Learn" and allowed the treasurer to have books that could not be audited. The state just charged the BOE more money for time spent on the audits because they were such a mess. Don't vote for any levies. They will just waste your hard earned money. Maybe, you have to pay for your health insurance, work 12 months a year, do not have ridiculous pensions and do not get automatic step increases. Ask the district how much they spend on substitutes. It is incredible. And, teachers get paid for their sick days when they retire. So, no more whining from the teachers.
Ask the board what they are doing about a new contract. Incidentally, everyone in the district gets this "Cadillac" health plan, not just teachers. I am sure DIane DeVito will keep the contract details secret until we can't do anything about it. Because, she just wants to move on - oh, with your money. Get involved or they will be in your pockets soon.

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