Dublin schools ballot issue
Axner details possible $10M in cuts
Cuts released last week in the $10 million contingency plan by Dublin City Schools would mean the loss of more than 100 staff members.
The Dublin Board of Education last week approved cuts outlined in a contingency plan that will be instituted if the Nov. 6 combined bond and levy issue fails.
Superintendent David Axner said $10 million would have to be trimmed from the district's budget if voters reject a combined $15.87-million bond and 6.4-mill operating levy this fall.
"I think there seems to be a better understanding with the urgency," Axner said of reaction to the contingency plan. "There was some surprise; $10 million is not easy to get to."
Cuts outlined last week include five positions at the central office that would save $182,000. Secretaries in learning and teaching, student services and the business office would be cut, as would one position each from the treasurer's staff and the learning and teaching staff.
Districtwide, a little more than $1.1 million would be cut through the elimination of four English-language learners staff members, five bilingual aides, two social workers, two buildings and grounds staff, four custodians, seasonal staff, two information technology staff, a transportation staff member and new staff planned for the 2014 fiscal year.
Cutting services throughout the district is expected to save a little less than $2.47 million with the elimination of high school busing, a 50-percent reduction in field trips, the consolidation of the International Baccalaureate program to one high school and the reduction of extended time and supplemental contracts.
Pay-to-participate fees would also likely be increased greatly to $400 per activity.
"There's a long list of supplemental (contract) eliminations that will mean some clubs and activities," Axner said.
"The (pay-to-participate) fee will determine if we can run a program ... That's the number we landed on and can still fund an athletic program, but it will be a different athletic program than we have now.
"This could eliminate a lot of the things we take for granted and what Dublin has been proud of," he said.
Middle school sports were initially on the chopping block, but Axner said they are not eliminated in the contingency plan so far.
"We left those active, but obviously, it's a pretty steep cost," he said.
"The argument to people is we have to think about one child in multiple sports or multiple children in sports. You may be better off with more taxes than pay-to-participate (fees)."
Elementary schools' budgets will be cut by $1.5 million as 12 classroom teachers, two Spanish teachers, six gifted intervention specialists, 12 educational aides and six media specialists are eliminated.
Fewer teachers will mean larger class sizes; other positions, such as intervention and media specialists, will have to be shared among the schools.
At the middle schools, $1.1 million would be cut as the jobs of five classroom teachers, three guidance counselors, four world language teachers, four music teachers, four secretarial positions and two art teachers are eliminated.
With the cuts, the elementary and middle school strings programs would be eliminated.
The high schools would take the largest hit with a little more than $1.95 million in reductions planned.
The high school-level cuts would include six classroom teachers in AP and core classes, three music teachers, one assistant principal, three secretarial positions, three guidance counselors, three assistant trainers, three security monitors, three attendance counselors and a part-time IB coordinator as the program is consolidated.
Latin and Japanese classes would be eliminated with the reduction of four world language teachers.
Both the broadcast and technical education programs would also be eliminated as three teaching positions in each subject would be cut.
Altogether, 125.5 positions across the district would be cut through the contingency plan if the November bond and levy issue fails, Axner said.
"We could still run the school district, but if people take for granted that these reductions continue to be made and it won't affect this district in achievement, safety and other aspects, they're very wrong," Axner said.
"There would be a bump in class size and building enrollment ... We would do things out of pure necessity. The priority of all decisions would be financial."
If the Nov. 6 levy and bond issue are rejected by voters, staff members would not be laid off until the end of the school year, but other cuts would take effect right away, Axner said.
If the levy and bond issue are approved, it would cost an additional $213 per $100,000 home value annually.