Reynoldsburg Schools Superintendent Steve Dackin said last week everything is on the table, including possible layoffs, when it comes to figuring out the district's finances for next year.

Reynoldsburg Schools Superintendent Steve Dackin said last week everything is on the table, including possible layoffs, when it comes to figuring out the district's finances for next year.

He told the board of education at its Nov. 18 meeting that he expects to have a list of recommended budget cuts identified by January.

District officials have already indicated they will place another levy request on the May ballot. Dackin said the millage amount hasn't been decided, but will be larger than the 6.9-mill operating levy voters rejected Nov. 4.

"We are in a position now where the need is there and it's critical we're in intensive care right now," he said.

Dackin said it's crucial for residents to understand that money generated from the bond issues voters approved can only be used for building renovation and new construction. It cannot legally be used to pay operating ex-penses.

"I think the issue for us is we waited 12 years to come back to our community for funds to operate our school district," he said. "It must be said again the bonds that were passed over the last several years cannot be used for operations, it can only be used foe new construction and renovation, so we don't have a choice here," he said.

Had the Nov. 4 levy passed, Reynoldsburg schools could have started to collect money from it in January, an estimated $5.28-million annually for the next three years.

Even if voters approve a May levy, money from it can't be collected until the following January.

"As you well know, with the 6.9-mill levy, we were saying it would last us three years, and so we're in a comparable position in May, but the millage will need to be higher," he told the board.

He said a recommendation could be announced by the next board meeting on Dec. 15 or in January.

Dackin said he is working with district principals on two lists of possible cuts or reduction in expenditures totaling $8-million if a May levy does not pass.

"We're making two lists, one that will recognize a $2-million reduction in expenditures for fiscal year 2010 regardless if a levy is passed or not in May, and our second list will have at least $6-million in reductions," he said. "We're talking about the very real potential of job loss in this district so at that vantage point, we have an ethical obligation to notify potentially affected employees as soon as possible."

Dackin said it is premature for him to go on record and say there are going to be job layoffs this year.

"I'm not anticipating a layoff per se for this particular school year, but I cannot be absolutely certain about that until I get the recommendations from the principals and supervisors in the district in terms of meeting their monetary goals and their reduction in expenditure goals," he said.

"Once I get all that data back, I can give a better idea of where we're going to be on potential reductions that may affect jobs with this school year. It's not likely, but I can't rule it out as a possibility."

Dackin said he expects lists of spending cuts from each principal by the first week in December.

"The cuts that we do this year will be a part of the $2-million cuts that we have to have in place for next year," he said. "The amount of cuts for this year will contribute to that amount of money going into next school year, and if we fail in May, then we have to cut another $6-million."

Board of Education President Cheryl Max said in past years a district levy has been defeated, officials have made the requisite budget reductions.

"But we've never been already at the end of the rope as I see it," Max said. "We've done all of those cuts that we typically would cut the second time around.

"All of those cuts have already been made," she said. "So I think this community is going to be surprised when they see what the list of items (to be cut) are because we're talking about big-ticket items at this point.

"We've made all of the nook-and-cranny cuts for the past five years, trying to affect the educational process as little as we could."