By Danny restivo
The board of education is seeking community support to solve the school district’s financial crisis.
Joseph Nohra Jr., school board president, said the board is looking to enlist the help of a lay advisory panel to help eliminate a $1.3 million deficit the district is facing.
The panel would be made up of Liberty residents interested in offering ideas on how the school can solve its financial woes, he said.
Nohra said the board is facing “drastic cuts” that would severely affect students and teachers.
He believes the panel is a way to engage the community for advice and ideas.
“We can’t cut our way out of this,” he said. “I don’t think a lot of people realize how bad the problem has got.”
The Ohio Department of Education assigned a financial oversight commission to the district after it was placed under fiscal emergency in July 2011.
According to a state audit, hundreds of thousands of dollars in property tax was recorded as if the district had received the funds, which never came.
The result was a $1.1 million overstatement in the general fund, and a $454,000 overstatement in the district’s bond fund for 2010.
In January, the board unanimously approved a $1.2 million deficit- reduction plan that eliminates 16.5 jobs and will go into effect fiscal year 2013.
Some parents are ready to get involved.
Adam E. Grymberg was born in the township and has a daughter attending E.J. Blott Elementary.
He said he’s committed to solving the school district’s problem and hopes to get involved in the panel.
While Grymberg is optimistic about his daughter’s future at the school, he knows that tough decisions have to be made.
“There is no easy solution to this problem, and I don’t know if its going to get better before it gets worse,” he said.
Donald Colvin has two children attending Liberty Schools.
He also served on a parent committee that helped with fund-raising efforts for the district’s conversion school in 2009.
Colvin supports the panel as long as positive strides are made.
“I think any help the board can get and ascertain would be a great benefit,” he said. “If they can acquire the professional insight for some things they can do differently, I’m all for that.”