Dublin City Schools officials said the district is slated to lose $3.4 million in state funding, but they were anticipating the reduction and have started cost-cutting measures.

The district’s fiscal 2020 funding from the state totals $21,554,736, or $1,366 per pupil. That 2020 total will be reduced by $3,461,045, or $219 per pupil, according to state figures.

The district is beginning to take cost-saving measures as it prepares for a reduction in state funding expected for the 2021 fiscal year, which begins July 1, officials said.

About 10% of the district’s annual funding – about $20 million – comes from the state, Superintendent Todd Hoadley said.

“We knew this was coming,” he said.

Hoadley said the district is implementing cost-saving measures in expectation of reductions during coming fiscal years.

The district has cut three administrative positions effective for the 2020-21 school year and reduced a full-time administrative position to a part-time position.

Hoadley said those changes account for approximately $350,000 in savings.

The district also is trying to reduce the number of teachers it would need to hire for the 2020-21 year.

Hopewell Elementary School, 4303 Bright Road, and Abraham Depp Elementary School, 9105 Gardenia Drive in Jerome Village, are expected to open for the 2020-21 school year.

Hoadley estimated the district has 25 teaching vacancies, primarily in elementary school buildings.

The district is moving elementary library-media specialists who have teaching certification into teaching positions in classrooms to reduce the number of vacancies.

One media specialist is at each of the district’s 12 current elementary buildings, Hoadley said.

Of the 12, nine will move into elementary classrooms to teach, he said. The other three do not have certifications needed to teach in an elementary classroom and will move to a middle school or high school library, he said.

The media specialist at those middle or high school locations then would be able to shift into a classroom teaching role, Hoadley said.

Hoadley said the goal is to keep media specialists as teachers in their buildings.

The district is planning how to staff elementary school libraries going forward, but library services will not be cut, Hoadley said.

“We don’t want to see our quality reduced,” he said.

Chris Valentine, the Dublin school board president, said the district is facing difficult times, with the most challenging times likely still ahead.

“These decisions may be difficult for some people in our community to understand, but we cannot continue onward as if this is a normal period of time,” Valentine said.

Nearly 90% of the district’s operating budget is associated with staff costs, so the effect on staff members via job loss or restructuring of current assignments and services “is nearly unavoidable,” Valentine said.

Moving media specialists into classrooms ensures no teacher will be out of a job and allows the district to minimize the impact of its cuts, he said.

In June, the district will identify a new model for elementary school libraries, he said.

Dublin Educators’ Association President Donna O’Connor did not respond by press time to requests for comment.

ssole@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSarah