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Poland BOE postpones levy action



Published: Tue, May 22, 2012 @ 12:08 a.m.

By Ashley Luthern

aluthern@vindy.com

POLAND

The Poland Board of Education postponed action on a resolution of necessity to place a new five-year emergency operating levy on the November ballot at its Monday meeting.

The board does plan to vote on the resolution at a 1 p.m. June 10 special meeting at the Poland Seminary High School library. In the resolution, the board must specify the annual dollar amount generated by the emergency operating levy, and board members felt they did not have sufficient information to decide on an amount Monday.

The board, however, did hear from Treasurer Donald Stanovcak, who presented an updated five-year forecast. Stanovcak reminded the board that the projections in his forecast are created using historical data to predict future trends.

The district’s bottom line is projected to have deficits of $104,501 at the end of fiscal year 2013, $2.3 million in 2014, $4.8 million in 2015 and $7.5 million in 2016. The district operates on a fiscal, not calendar, year.

Stanovcak also gave the board some estimates of levy amounts, based on the millage of the failed March 6 additional levy. A 3.9-mill levy, for example, would generate close to $1.45 million annually, but that amount would only stall the district from reaching a deficit another year or two, he added.

“People want to know what we need to get that $7.5 million [deficit], and it will take about a 6.9-mill levy to make it go away,” he said, adding that is without considering other options.

Board member Robert Shovlin brought up the financial benefits of open enrollment, which could generate about $1.6 million if 280 children open-enrolled in grades kindergarten through sixth.

“The levies aren’t passing,” he said.

The last new Poland schools levy approved by voters was for 6.9-mills in 2003.

Other board members were quick to point out that community input is needed before any decision on open enrollment and said they still plan to have a public forum on the subject in September.

Superintendent Robert Zorn said that if trends in enrollment and local birth rate remain the same, the district could close an elementary school in five years and absorb the remaining students into other buildings while adhering to state class size guidelines.

“If an elementary school were closed, my best guess is it would probably save about $350,000 ... and most of that savings is in laying off personnel and after the costs of unemployment and assuming enrollment stayed the same,” Zorn said

Board President Dr. Larry Dinopoulos said that savings would still not be enough to keep the district financially solvent in the long-term.

“You’ve heard all of us say this, but I’ll say it again: We can’t cut our way out of this,” he said.


Comments

1lee(544 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

That's funny when my wife got laid off from her job we "HAD" to cut cost just to survive. We did it and so can you,NO NEW TAXES!!!

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2HaydenThomas(208 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Lee, Lee, Lee, the public sector just isn't able to cut costs. They are deserving of more of your hard earned money. They can't pay 25% of their health care like you do. They can't retire at 65 or later like you, teaching is so hard they need to retire at 55 or earlier. Working 185 days a year is just so much of a strain. Kids in Poland are so behind educationally and need so much hand holding those teachers are just worn out after 180 days with them and 5 professional days.

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3Knightcap(693 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

I see nothing wrong in asking all employees to pay at least, at least 20% of their health-care cost. Wouldn't that show the taxpayers you are doing your part in cutting costs. Maybe then you could come to the taxpayer and ask for a levy without looking stupid and greedy.

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4BoardmanBranch(42 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Why would the Poland taxpayers approve a levy before contract negotiations? It will all go to salaries and benefits. If the board is serious about a levy, they should institute paycuts and higher insurance premiums for administrative staff NOW so they are prepared to negotiate when it is time. They should stop wasting money by putting a levy on the ballot until they can project savings from reduced costs in salaries and benefits, and then ask for what is needed. A 6.9 mil levy--are you kidding??? So salaries can continue to go up when everyone else is taking a paycut and insurance benefits are completely out of line??? No way.

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5natureman(66 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

What happens to pay to play if we pass the new levy? Does it now go away? Also will we bring back the cuts made at the elementary level? We need clarification if you want a levy to pass.

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6OldSchool2(20 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

I want my children taught by well educated professionals rather than community service volunteers. We may want to be careful what we wish for since you often get what you pay for. If we run out the true professionals, what are we left with? Schools in the top 10%? Natureman, I agree...we need clear dialogue!

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7OldSchool2(20 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Sounds like Poland would be a better place if some of you moved on to a place that is run to your liking. I see success and beauty in Poland thanks to the Village, Township, and school system. Voters should be involved rather than blindly spewing negativity.

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8resident(40 comments)posted 2 years, 2 months ago

redeye1 In addition to your comment, if teachers left, the district could hire new teachers at an entry level salary and that would save much money !!!!

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