As part of its spending reduction plan, the Delaware city school board on April 25 eliminated 14 teaching positions, effective at the end of the school year.

As part of its spending reduction plan, the Delaware city school board on April 25 eliminated 14 teaching positions, effective at the end of the school year.

The cuts are part of a plan to reduce the projected fiscal year 2015 $25.7-million deficit to $20 million or lower. The remaining deficit would be addressed with what could be an 8.5-mill emergency operating levy for five or 10 years that would appear on the November ballot.

Superintendent Paul Craft told ThisWeek he won't know until June 30 precisely how many individuals will be laid off.

At the meeting, he said about eight first-year teachers are expected to lose their jobs. He speculated that most of the other six teachers would have other positions next school year.

"Retirements and resignations have opened up positions for many of our staff members being impacted by position eliminations," Craft told ThisWeek.

Board vice president Frances O'Flaherty, who voted against cutting the 14 positions, said other possibilities should have been explored and better ways exist to serve the students.

"I don't think anybody here feels good about cutting positions," board president Ted Backus responded.

O'Flaherty said the board could have cut extracurricular activities.

"I disagree. I think we're still going to be able to provide a well-rounded education," said board member Deb Rafeld.

The school board accepted three resignations: a teacher, an assistant track and field coach, and a substitute employee for the school age child care program (SACC). Craft is unsure if the teaching position will be filled. The assistant coach position has been filled. Craft said before- and after-school care is handled separately and has no impact on the district's general fund.

Also at the meeting, the board increased lunch prices by 10 cents. Kindergartners through fourth-graders will pay $2.35, fifth-graders through 12th-graders will pay $2.60, and adults will pay $2.85. Student and adult breakfasts, at $1.50 and $1.75, won't change.

Craft told ThisWeek the change was made to meet new federal school lunch program guidelines, which set new minimum prices for students who don't qualify for free or reduced lunches.

"In our case, our prices were below that minimum and we are required to increase our prices incrementally over the course of the next couple of years until they reach that level," Craft said. Those increases were the lowest allowed under the federal guidelines.

The district next year will change its student information system, which is used to enroll and schedule students and track their academic and attendance records. That information goes into the state's Educational Management Information System. The district will change from Administrative Assistants Ltd's eSIS to Pearson's PowerSchool. Both are web-based services.

Craft said the switch will change how students enter grades, how counselors schedule students, how the district enrolls students, and how parents log on to see their students' grades. "I have worked with PowerSchool in a previous district and it is, all in all, a good system," Craft said.

In other district news:

Matthew Keller is Woodward Elementary School's principal, effective Aug. 1 at an annual salary of $78,963. He has served as assistant principal at Willis Intermediate School for four years.

Stephen Schroeder is the new Hayes High School football coach. Schroeder was previously the football coach at Olentangy Liberty High School. His coaching contract is $5,824. He also will teach social studies at Hayes at $63,620 a year.

The board approved the hiring of an aerospace science instructor at a rate of $47,176 a year; a substitute director of student support services at $29 per hour; and a tutor at $21.50 per hour. The board also approved two $10-per-hour and one $11-per-hour SACC program positions.

The board began editing the district's superintendent job description to participate in the Ohio Superintendents Evaluation System. Ted Knapke of the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio assisted with the process.