MANTUA, Ohio (April 28, 2011) -- This is a challenging time for school districts across the State of Ohio and Crestwood is no exception. Proposed state budget reductions and the loss of federal stimulus monies have left the district searching for a way to offset $1.75 million in lost funds for each of the next two years. Crestwood’s yearly revenue (state, local, and federal) has typically been about $20 million per year.
“There are still some looming questions, such as what the final approved state budget will look like in July, as well as how significant the reductions in special education and Title 1 funding will be,” said Joe Iacano, Crestwood Local Schools Superintendent. “Combined with a smaller student body, new legislation and further proposed reductions in federal funding in the areas of special services, we will continue to make necessary, but very difficult, decisions.”
According to Iacano, some reductions in state funding were anticipated, but the reductions went beyond what most districts anticipated. The reductions to the district are too significant to absorb without making changes to all areas of operations including curriculum and instruction, service contracts, personnel and miscellaneous operating expenses.
“As a result of the budget cuts, the district does not anticipate the complete loss of any program or service but will see reduction in personnel and educational opportunities,” said Iacano. “The Board of Education has approved a Reduction in Staff (RIS) of eight teaching positions, and I will soon be recommending the net reduction of two administrative positions through attrition and consolidation of duties. We may also see some small reductions for classified, non-teaching, staff as well.”
As a result of the reductions, the exploratory Spanish course will no longer be offered at the middle school, students and families may see less field trips, more user fees, and higher student-teacher ratios in some classes at the middle and the high schools.
Despite years of proactive reductions and responsible management of the budget, the significant loss of revenue requires the district to make these decisions. Today, the district remains fiscally stable because the district has built up cash reserves through proactive cost reduction measures during the past several years. However, according to Carol Corbett, Treasurer/CFO, the district anticipates a deficit by July 2013 unless there are more reductions or there is an increase in local and/or state funding.
“It is unlikely we will be able to cut our way out of a future deficit without making significant sacrifices to curricular and extracurricular offerings,” said Iacano. “We will continue to make a genuine effort to postpone local levies until there is no other choice. The uncertain future of school funding in Ohio, however, may mean we have to consider local funding options earlier than we planned.”