The Reynoldsburg Board of Education agreed last week to cut the equivalent of 102 full-time positions for the next school year if the district's 15.6-mill levy is not passed on May 5.

The Reynoldsburg Board of Education agreed last week to cut the equivalent of 102 full-time positions for the next school year if the district's 15.6-mill levy is not passed on May 5.

The jobs include 72.6 certified teachers, K-6 counselors and 21.2 support staff members, including 8.94 office/cafeteria aide positions, six custodial positions, 4.25 paraprofessional positions and the remaining paraprofessional's hours.

"The need for this is kind of a first step in the process, and we need to do this now because we have contracts in place and we have to notify the employees, which will happen in April," Superintendent Steve Dackin said. "These are reductions in staffing and programs that will need to take place if we fail the levy in May."

Dackin was emotional when he announced the cuts had to pause for a moment before continuing.

"When I look at 102.8 full-time equivalents, I don't see a number, I see faces. I see people who I've known," he said.

The job cuts also would include nine school administrative, central office and support personnel, one junior high assistant principal, a school psychologist, a supervisor of maintenance position and a central office receptionist position. Hours for the administrative and support staff would be reduced.

The move would reduce the budget by $6,434,193. It would also mean larger class sizes and the loss of junior high Spanish courses and the Trailblazers alternative program.

Art, music and physical education classes would be cut for kindergarten through sixth grade and reduced in seventh through 12th grades.

Another $2,898,448 could be cut from the budget by reducing the length of the school day, cutting transportation to state minimums with none for grades 9 through 12 and cutting all costs associated with athletic extracurricular programs.

Dackin said, however, that even if the May levy is approved, his administration still proposes to institute a little over $1.5-million in cost-saving measures for the next school year.

He said these reductions can be made without eliminating programs but through cutting positions, which likely will be accomplished through attrition, although layoffs remain possible.

Included in the list are voluntary cost-saving measures such as job-sharing, proposed by employees, along with $387,000 in reductions that were announced earlier this year.

"There still are so many things that can change," Dackin said. "We still don't know what 51 percent of our budget is going to be, because the state is still going through its process and we might not know about that until midsummer."

He stressed that if the 15.6-mill levy is passed, the district is guaranteeing it will last for five years.

"We hope more because we hope the state and the feds can come in over five years, but right now we're not projecting any increase in revenue there," Dackin said.

dowen@thisweeknews.com