South Range officials work on budget plan


Staff Writer

BEAVER TWP. -South Range schools administration is developing a plan to address a decreasing bottom line in the budget.

Schools Superintendent Dennis Dunham Monday night responded to a letter from the Ohio Department of Education’s Office of School Finance regarding the district’s fund balance falling below 3 percent of the total budget and facing an operating deficit in fiscal year 2015. Dunham said the district must provide the state with a plan to increase revenue and/or decrease expenditures.

Dunham offered suggestions to the board including expanding open enrollment to all grades, placing a levy on the May or November ballot, instituting a pay-to-participate policy and making cuts in staffing, programming, purchased services and supplies.

No decisions have been made yet, Dunham noted, and a more detailed plan will be provided at the January board meeting, with action likely in February.

In other business, a representative from Great Lakes Biomedical Company spoke to the board regarding student drug testing for extracurricular activities for the 2014-2015 school year. Dunham said the drug testing is being strongly considered and he is likely to recommend it in some form in the spring.

Currently the district does not conduct drug testing, but Dunham said the administration hopes the action will increase student safety and provide another reason for students to say no to using harmful substances.

Also at the meeting the board hired Ed and Jen Schaefer for snow removal, Joey Phillips as a student helper in the maintenance department and Joe Speziale as a long-term substitute for Meagan Frank, on maternity leave effective Dec. 12; and granted supplemental contracts to Frank Rahde as assistant girls varsity track coach and Joe Brooks as assistant boys varsity track coach. The board also accepted the resignation of Beverly Jones as bus driver effective Jan. 7.

Additionally the board recognized John Fromel and Delaine DeChellis, neither of whom ran for re-election in November, for their eight years on the board.

A special board meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Dec. 30 at the K-12 campus to review negotiations with public employees concerning compensation and conditions of employment.

The organizational and next regular board meeting are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Jan. 9 at the K-12 campus.