The economy hasn't been easy for the Bexley City School District, treasurer Chris Essman said at the most recent board of education meeting.

The economy hasn't been easy for the Bexley City School District, treasurer Chris Essman said at the most recent board of education meeting.

With the economic downturn, district officials are projecting a loss in state revenue from income tax. The school district receives a settlement four times a year from the state.

Essman said the school district is anticipating about a 20 to 24 percent loss in revenue from the school district income tax.

"July will be the real telltale for what we can expect," he said, adding the settlement that the district receives in June is the largest settlement of the year.

Essman has been advising district administrators since December to scale back expenditures.

Examples of possible cuts include reducing funding for professional development by about 30 percent in the 2009-2010 school year.

Superintendent Mike Johnson and director of operations Barry Zwick decided not to replace the departing Tim Brunney, director of building and grounds. Some retiring middle school personnel will not be replaced next year.

With the number of students identified as gifted declining, the school district can reassign staff in the district's gifted and talented education program.

The school board passed a resolution in December asking administrators to bring back recommendations for budget reductions, Essman said.

Johnson said Bexley has one of the highest per pupil expenditure figures and tax rates in central Ohio, but with decreased enrollment comes cuts. Enrollment at Bexley High School, now 708, is expected to dip below 600 in 2013.

Essman said the district made a promise to stay off the ballot for five years when Bexley voters approved a .75-percent school district income tax for operating funds in 2004.

Earlier this year Johnson convened a committee to work on school finances. District officials expect to go on the ballot in less than two years. The group met last Thursday.

"Out of that committee we are hoping to find levy campaign people," Essman said.

It has yet to be determined if the school district will ask for an income tax increase or property tax increase, he said.

"We are tightening things up whenever we can," Essman said. "It is just part of trying to manage the budget."

tstubbs@thisweeknews.com