[ back ]
Meeting planned to discuss Pickerington Schools cuts
The Pickerington Local Schools face the prospect of cutting $9 million from its 2011-12 operating budget after a narrow defeat of an 8-mill replacement levy on Nov. 2.
Potential cuts will be discussed at the district’s next Board of Education meeting, planned for 7 p.m. Nov. 16 at Heritage Elementary Auditorium, 100 East St.
The replacement levy, which would have generated a total of $8.98 million yearly, including $7.586 million in new revenue, was narrowly defeated by voters.
Unofficial results from the Fairfield County Board of Elections show the levy failed by a count of 8,864 votes (50.64 percent) against the levy to 8,641 votes (49.36 percent) for the levy.
Had the levy passed, it would have replaced an 8-mill levy originally passed in 1977. The existing levy is currently collected at 1.158 mills because of a state law requiring millage to decrease when property values rise. The levy would have cost a homeowner of a $100,000 home an additional $209.53 annually.
Prior to the Nov. 2 vote, district officials said the levy’s failure would result in a possible elimination or reduction of up to 43 teachers and 42 support staff, as well as up to four administrative positions, totaling $3.87 million in reductions. Other areas the district might cut are art, music and physical education from elementary and middle school programming, and up to 11 buses from the current fleet of 71.
Additionally, the district is considering reduction in the length of the school day by 40 to 45 minutes at the junior high and high school levels. School start times would change to 7:10 a.m. at the high schools, 8:10 a.m. at the junior high schools, 8:50 a.m. for the middle schools and 9:30 a.m. for elementary students.
“Details of the plan are not finalized at this time, but will be further discussed at the November meeting,” Director of Communications Lee Cole said. “The board will vote on what will take place and the time line for changes.”
The district could also seek to cut $2.231 million from athletics and extracurricular budgets by requiring these programs to be fully funded by students and their parents. Currently, pay-to-play fees cover only one-third of the extra costs to run the athletic and extracurricular activities.
[ back ]