Youngstown schools leaders consider ways to trim deficit
Schools Superintendent Connie Hathorn is meeting with his staff to devise recommendations to address a projected $48 million deficit by fiscal year 2017.
Hathorn said at a school board meeting that he and his administrators met Tuesday and would meet again today to come up with recommendations for the board. He announced the $48 million deficit projection at an Academic Distress Commission meeting last week.
Board members are concerned.
“There must be a vision for the school district,” Lock P. Beachum Sr., board member, told other members. “If not, in five years there won’t be a Youngstown City Schools.”
Beachum, who has previously warned of a need to keep finances under control, said possibilities include closing school buildings, privatizing some district operations, changes in school transportation, staff and central office reductions and increasing class sizes.
“Maybe be need to look at a management study,” he said.
The majority of the deficit is caused by the loss of city school students to charter and private schools or leaving the district through open enrollment.
“We can’t continue losing students,” Beachum said. “You’re losing the best students. You can’t climb out of academic emergency losing your best students. I doubt we’ll climb out of academic watch this year. If we do it’s going to be almost a miracle.”