Mariemont City Schools Board Takes Action to Balance Budget if November 6 Levy is Not Approved by Voters
Nearly $2 million in cuts expected in the next two fiscal years
The Mariemont City School District has placed a combined 2.5-mill operating and a 5.75-mill permanent improvement issue on the November 6 ballot. Both issues are necessary to maintain the excellence that is the foundation of the Mariemont City School District. Today, the board voted unanimously to put in place a plan to cut nearly $2 million in programs and staffing over the next two fiscal years if the ballot issue is not approved by voters in November.
“Mariemont City Schools is an exceptional school district that provides a great value to the community,” explained Board of Education President Nan Dill. “It’s up to us to maintain that excellence and address the serious financial challenge that lays before us.”
The 2.5-mill operating issue is the lowest request in the district’s history. It pays for day-to-day operating needs such as teachers, utilities and supplies and is expected to meet the district’s daily operating needs for the next four years. The 5.75-mill permanent improvement issue will generate funds to address the serious mechanical and structural issues at Mariemont High School in order to maximize the investment in the school as well as provide security enhancements and address ongoing maintenance needs at all schools across the district.
“Thanks to strong fiscal management and a conservative budget approach, we were able to stretch the 2014 operating levy an additional year, despite also losing $1 million in state aid,” explained Treasurer Tom Golinar. “However the district can’t keep stretching dollars and maintain the excellent level of programs and staffing. New funds are needed to address the day-to-day operations as well as the ongoing maintenance and repair issues in our schools. If the November 6 ballot issue is not successful, then the district must take action to reduce staffing and programs so that it can maintain a balanced budget.”
The board-approved reduction plan calls for nearly $2 million in cuts over the next two fiscal years. These reductions include:
- Eliminating 29 staff positions (10 teaching/counselor positions, 13 aide positions and 6 administrative/support positions);
- Reduce course offerings at the junior high and high school;
- Reduce art, general music, physical education and STEM opportunities at the elementary schools;
- Larger class sizes across all grade levels;
- Elimination of College & Career Planning Counseling position;
- Reduce transportation services to state minimums for all students, including private and parochial students, - no high school transportation and only provide transportation for students in kindergarten-eighth grade who live more than two miles from their home school;
- Increase pay-to-participate fees and caps (high school up to $130, junior high up to $80 and Family Cap up to $520);
- Eliminate all field trips (including Camp Kern, Washington D.C., international travel, Expeditions trips and Intersession trips);
- Reduce purchased services, supplies, subscriptions and resources budgets;
- Eliminate base pay increases for staff; and,
- Assess facility rental fees for all users and organizations, including district residents and groups.
“We don’t want to put these reductions in place,” stressed Dill. “We want to maintain the excellence that is Mariemont City Schools, however, the board is committed to living within our means when it comes to the district’s budget. Additionally, the state of Ohio requires a balanced budget for all schools. If the November 6 ballot issue fails, we must move forward and bring our expenses inline with the limited funds that will be available to us. These reductions will change the face of Mariemont City Schools and we owe it to the community to let them know what is at stake.”
Residents can learn more about the November 6 ballot issue here.