Dublin Villager

Issue 48

Schools may cut another $10 million if voters say 'no'

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Supporters gather at the corner of Muirfield and Sells Mills drives for a rally for the Dublin City Schools levy Monday, Oct. 22.
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Dublin City Schools is making about $7.1 million in cuts since the defeat of the combined bond and levy issue last fall.

If the Nov. 6 Issue 48, a 6.4-million operating levy and $15.87-million bond, is rejected by voters an additional $10 million in cuts are planned.

Issue 48 is a combined 6.94-mill levy that would cost district residents an additional $213 per $100,000 assessed property value annually, if approved by voters.

The levy and bond issue, district officials have said, would begin collection in January and fund the district through 2016. If would also fund improvements to the Davis Middle School commons area, traffic flow at Riverside Elementary and new HVAC and fire alarm systems at Deer Run Elementary.

The $15.87-million bond issue would also fund maintenance and equipment around the district.

"There's quite a bit of roof work and quite a bit of asphalt which is paving parking lots," said district business affairs director Annette Morud. "The other stuff is flooring that needs to be replaced, maintaining HVAC equipment, maintaining tracks and athletics facilities. There are some windows and door replacements and repair some structural things like tuck pointing and stucco."

Equipment to be funded under the bond issue includes bus replacement, building equipment and maintenance and grounds vehicles, Morud said.

Technology included in bond funds would replace old computers and projectors in the district and improve infrastructure, said chief technology officer Michael Voss.

"We need backup, storage and wireless to make sure the infrastructure is rock solid," he said. "Those cost a lot of money to get those systems going, but without those it doesn't matter how many computers we have in the district, things won't work as they should."

If Issue 48 fails, the district would do without improvements and only do necessary maintenance.

"Bus replacement would be cut back considerably. I think maybe a good way to look at it would be the safety issue would be dealt with, but maybe not other things," Morud said. "The other thing is if the bond issue doesn't pass some of the maintenance and repair items still need to be done and at that point we'll take money from the general fund. That'll hurt us in two ways. We'll have to take money from operating funds."

If Issue 48 is rejected by voters, the operating side of the budget will also take a hit, which has been outlined in a $10 million contingency plan approved by board of education members.

The contingency plan includes eliminating 38 classified support positions, 77.5 certified teaching jobs, two administrators and eight technical staff.

With the elimination of staff, some programs and electives will be cut. Superintendent David Axner said foreign language at the elementaries and middle schools would likely be cut.

"That's one less option at the middle schools. Some will be able to fill that in with electives, but some kids will have to take study hall," he said, noting that a few foreign languages will be cut at the high school level. "I'm not sure if Latin or Japanese are going to make the cuts. We'll have to look at enrollment."

Extracurricular activities and sports would also be impacted by the $10 million in cuts. Pay to participate fees would increase to $400 and coaching positions would be eliminated through $2.5 million in planned service reductions.

"The majority would be assistant positions or entry-year positions like assistant basketball coach, assistant football coach, assistant band director... .We'll still have the programs, just less supervision," Axner said.

"Some clubs with low numbers we'll be looking at, we'll have to eliminate those. With head coaches we'll look at freshman programs."

Larger class sizes, the elimination of high school busing, fewer field trips and cutting the elementary and middle school strings program are also included in the $10 million contingency plan.

 

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