Staff hiring, busing and purchases of textbooks and equipment all came under the budget knife Monday when the Canal Winchester Board of Education voted 5-0 to cut $1.7-million from the district budget.

Staff hiring, busing and purchases of textbooks and equipment all came under the budget knife Monday when the Canal Winchester Board of Education voted 5-0 to cut $1.7-million from the district budget.

High school students will bear the brunt of the busing cuts. All high school busing will be eliminated for the 2008-09 and 2009-10 school years, possibly longer.

"This has been difficult," Superintendent Kim Miller-Smith told the board.

She said the cuts are part of the "evils to balance when looking how best to meet student needs."

Miller-Smith said the cuts will stay in place for two years and will keep the district in the black through the 2009-10 school year. If no new money comes in by that time --i.e. if there is no new levy -- the district will keep these cuts and likely add more, she said.

"One luxury we don't have is making everyone happy," board member David Brobst said.

The latest adjustments are part of $3.5-million in budget reductions made by the district since August 2007. In addition to the cuts, the board also voted to double pay-to-participate fees to $140, thus raising $58,000, and to charge fees to the Canal Winchester Joint Recreation District for the use of school facilities, a move expected to bring in $14,500.

Voters rejected an 8.9-mill operating levy by 166 votes on March 4. Levies on the ballot in November 2006 and November 2007 were also defeated.

The $1.7-million in cuts approved Monday for the 2008-09 school year include:

Eliminate hiring seven certified staff members: $385,000

Reduce supply and equipment costs: $256,000

Maintain consolidated bus stops: $172,000

Eliminate two bus purchases: $158,600

Eliminate the position of director of operations: $131,883

Reduction in Gifted Services: $109,000

Eliminate hiring 4.5 classified staff: $101,250

Eliminate high school programs with 15 or fewer students: $100,580

Reduce 2008-09 textbook purchases: $100,000

Eliminate high school busing: $67,707

Reduction of one Alternative Education Placement (AEP) teacher: $47,126

Eliminate eight varsity assistant coaches : $28,771

Reduce extended-service days: $24,427

Eliminate field trips: $10,000

Eliminate out-o-district professional development/meetings: $10,000

Eliminate athletic trainer payment: $7,500

Assistant Superintendent Barbara Harrison said a high school teacher, a middle school teacher and three elementary teachers lost their jobs due to budget reductions, as well.

The $256,000 cut in supplies for buildings represents a 20-percent reduction on top of a 40-percent cut in supplies made earlier in the school year, Miller-Smith said.

The superintendent also said the gifted program will shrink from three teachers to one and the AEP program from two teachers to one. The district will hire three rather than 10 new teachers for 2008-09, and one rather than 5.5 classified staff. Also, class sizes will likely increase, she said.

Board member Chuck Miller said it is unlikely the district will seek a levy in August.

Resident Jeff Bond told board members that because of high gas prices and a poor economy, they face an uphill climb in getting any levy approved soon.

"People are hurting," Bond said.

After the meeting, Miller-Smith said that, like residents, the district is in a financial squeeze.

"That's how we have to operate," she said. "If we don't have local funding, we need to make cuts. We have to see if this is OK with our community or not."