The Reynoldsburg Board of Education took steps June 21 to eliminate some positions for the next fiscal year as part of the district's efforts to trim $2.4 million from its budget.

The Reynoldsburg Board of Education took steps June 21 to eliminate some positions for the next fiscal year as part of the district's efforts to trim $2.4 million from its budget.

District spokesperson Tricia Moore said no specific personnel can be been identified yet, just certain full-time equivalency (FTE) positions. The list includes an administration intern, an assistant principal and a pre-school guidance counselor, each of which counts as a 0.5 FTE job; 4.5 FTE pre-school teachers, 4.2 FTE pre-school non-teaching paraprofessionals and 1.5 FTE physical education teachers at the high school.

Superintendent Steve Dackin indicated May that the district is anticipating expenditure cuts of $3.7 million over the next two fiscal years - $2.4 million in FY2012 and another $1.3 million in FY2013.

Moore said the district also plans to reduce the number of employees through attrition - that is, not replacing people who have retired.

"It's technical language right now. We're not at the point where we can translate a number of people who are losing their jobs but there's a process that has to go through, and the first step is this, eliminate positions," Moore said.

Now that the board has approved cutting the positions, she said, the next step will be to identify the people who hold those jobs and notify them by letter.

A caveat exists, however: Moore said some of the employees may have "bumping rights" according to seniority or their contracts, which means they could be reassigned to other positions, thus bumping someone else out of a job.

Taking the approved job cuts and attrition into account, Dackin said district officials have found ways to cut about $1.9 million of the $2.4 million goal from the budget.

"The cuts are what they are, so what we're trying to do is figure out how we're going to reduce $2.4 million in expenditures and not cut services for kids," he said.

One area officials consider when searching for ways to save money is staffing levels, Dackin said.

"The things that were approved last week by the board will result in no reduction of service levels," he said.

One example, Dackin said, is to have the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio operate the district's pre-school services next year "like they do in Gahanna and Olentangy."

"We project by having the Educational Service Center running it, we'll save about $150,000 just in that exchange; (there is) no loss in service and our kids will be served by certified, qualified teachers," he said.

Moore said negotiations between the district and the unions representing certified and classified employees are another piece of the financial puzzle.

"Both union contracts expire July 30 and we will be entering into negotiations for the future and the target hopefully will add up to $2.4 million," she said.

Topics to be discussed in the union negotiations might include forgoing raises next year, reducing them, or freezing salaries to save the district money, she said.

Dackin said the district's financial planning is based on what next year's anticipated expenditures are, along with a five-year forecast. The terms of new contracts with the unions could affect anticipated expenditures, and this could change the five-year forecast as well.

"There's a myriad of topics that could be considered in negotiations, but I have to say, our employees have 'gotten it' over the last two years around the challenges facing this school district and the economic challenges facing public education," Dackin said.

"So I expect our teachers and our classified folks will continue to recognize the realities that we face and once again answer the call, as they've done in the past, because they are committed to the betterment of this school district."