Norwalk schools approve $943,000 in cuts, reductions

Moves would go into effect if emergency operating levy on May 6 ballot fails.
Cary Ashby
Feb 16, 2014

 

"With deep regret, I make these recommendations."

That's what Norwalk City Schools Superintendent Dennis Doughty told the board Tuesday when he requested approval of $943,000 worth of cuts. The reductions, which the board approved, would go into effect if the emergency operating levy on the May 6 ballot fails.

The cuts include four teaching positions, which would be part of a reduction in force (RIF) and equate to a savings of $300,000. Those positions are a Norwalk High School business teacher and one music, physical education and art teacher each in the district.

The district also plans to eliminate two librarians (a savings of $150,000), eight building aides in the district ($160,000) and one administrative assistant in the central office ($25,000). Doughty said cutting the librarians would result in the ultimate closure of libraries at NHS, Norwalk Middle and Main Street schools.

The remaining reductions include:

-- Increasing current athletic participation fees to $200 per sport at the high-school level and $100 at the middle school (a savings of $150,000).

-- Charging an additional fee of $50 per club and co-curricular activity to cover the costs associated with the activity ($100,000).

-- Reducing the current level of athletic and co-curricular contracts by 10 percent ($30,000).

-- Reducing the extended time for seven staff members ($13,000).

"Cutting and eliminating extended time means there will be a reduction in services and support during the summer months and those days prior to the start of school. This reduction will impact class registration, counseling services (and) child find at the early elementary level and other support services," according to information from the district.

-- Reducing and adjusting administrative staffing ($15,000).

Citing the five-year forecast, Doughty said the district should have $900,000 in deficit next year, so the aforementioned cuts and reductions of $943,000 will help be a step toward balancing that figure.

Board president John Lendrum said the district's goal is to balance the budget and given the financial situation, the only way to do that is losing programs and positions.

Doughty said there are some expected retirements and as a result, there could be less RIFs. He said the district could absorb those teaching positions through attrition instead of cutting them. The board is expected to know which teachers might retire about June.

Board member Steve Linder said the $943,000 in cuts and reductions doesn't appear to be much to him.

"But it's a start," he added.

The school board also asked Doughty to look into the potential savings that would be gained if the district closed League Elementary for good. To read a story about that subject, click HERE.

 

Comments

Contango

Re: "I support the schools with my vote."

Votes don't support publicly supported institutions, money does.

Look around, Norwalk's getting greyer and poorer; many are on fixed, and mostly static income.

Where's the money supposed to come from?

"business closings, drugs, crime, et. al"

Point: Public sentiment as shown on the blogs would not be the ONLY reason.

kal-el

Where does money "come from" when gas prices go up? It's all about priorities.

My property taxes actually went down this year. I just dropped the check off on Friday. Explain that.

kal-el

"Votes don't support publicly supported institutions, money does. "

As passed by voters.

http://www.dispatch.com/content/...

Contango

Re: "As passed by voters."

Looks like wealthier parts of the state. "Upper Arlington"???

Remember: Huron Co. has the 6th highest unemployment rate in the state.

former local

Maybe if people were willing to retrain themselves for a skill other than standing at a machine in a factory. Employers want an educated workforce!

Contango

Re: "Maybe (snip)

Reads like a case of: Coulda, woulda, shoulda.

So why did you move away?

Contango

Re: "It's all about priorities."

Yea, for senior and poor it's: Medicine, food, housing, et. al.

Property taxes declined?

Maybe property valuations are finally catching up with the reality of the housing crash.

Most Wanted

"Most Wanted."....love your original name. I do not have kids in school anymore, don't believe I stated where I live? I'm not picking on anyone's job simply stating that if we are going to lose jobs let's do it by combining and downsizing. Eliminating a building is cost effective. Cast The First Stone...yes, I think a teacher is worth every penny they earn...if they are a good teacher. Just like every employee there's good and bad. If they don't do their job, get rid of them. Do I think a librarian is worth $75K...no. I think that's a teacher waiting for a position and that's a waste of money. I agree there is a lot of waste in a school budget but a good teacher's salary is not waste nor overpayment of salary.

Most Wanted.

First of all, you've stated in a couple of your comments from the past that you don't live in Norwalk. If you aren't picking on anyone's job, then why did you list janitors and not teachers? Perhaps you think that the janitors should just volunteer to clean up after the over paid teachers and snotty kids? You are just like Doughty, wanting to trim the budget by slashing the people at the bottom of the food chain. At least we can agree about league street school needing to go. I also agree that a good teacher should be compensated for their worth, but all the teachers (good or bad) in this town make pretty damn good money. There is no magic formula that determines pay by true merit. Lastly, my username is very original. It's not my fault you never thought of putting a period at the end. It took me a long time to think that one up.

CAST THE FIRST STONE

Senate bill 5 would of weeded out the bad teachers. Sounds like you probably voted to overturn

kal-el

Which has zero to do with this article. Most of SB 5 was reinserted in HB 153 anyway in a budget bill that couldn't be repealed. Conservatives are obsessed with running out the bottom 5% of teachers -- the same number that exists in ANY occupation. It also created a tremendous amount of administrative work while everyone rails against administrators. All SB 5 did was poke the union bear and they are back with a vengeance. It was a stupid, petty attack on unions that backfired.

CAST THE FIRST STONE

no it would be the top 15% that are coasting to the finish line and double dipping which is a crime to me

kal-el

New STRS rules will prevent that. Also, many school boards now discourage that practice except for hard-to-staff positions, which is becoming an increasing problem because of sentiments such as yours (which is ironic because it is usually a cost-saver to the local district, that's why they do it). Seems like a lot of the criticism here is more about jealousy than an actual grievance.

CAST THE FIRST STONE

jealous of you stealing our money. Double dippers take a job that would be paying taxes on top of the retiree . Of course SB5 would of killed that too. You are just angry that people have found out about your good old boys network and are telling people.

kal-el

"Stealing your money?" Again, people like you expect services for free.

As I stated, "double dipping" usually saves the local taxpayer money because you can pay them a LOWER salary.

CAST THE FIRST STONE

Look at my taxes that i pay for school police fire and on and on. we pay our share you just take more than your fair share

kal-el

*I* take more than my fair share? a) you're assuming a lot b) you obviously have no idea what it costs to get and maintain a teaching license these days.

Contango

Re: "It was a stupid, petty attack on unions that backfired."

Agree that it was mishandled, but the fiscal sentiment was correct.

The private sector is increasingly having difficulty in supporting the largess of the public sector.

Many states and locals, e.g. IL, RI, Detroit, are dealing with the financing and burgeoning underfunding of public ees.' wages and health and welfare benefits.

kal-el

So your solution is to decimate the education system, which is one of the prime characteristics businesses look for when relocating? Along with infrastructure,, tax abatements, and favorable regulatory climate - all tax-related.

Contango

Re: "So (snip)"

Do you live within your means or are you up to eyeballs in debt?

How are local govt. budgets any different?

Locally, it would appear that mostly part-time jobs and those on fixed incomes can't support the public sector.

And the best and the brightest students, both HS and college leave for elsewhere. The area loses future taxpayers.

How to stop the bleeding?

ole45mag

Reading, writing, and arithmetic. Basic core. Out of this basic core came computers and many invented items by men AND women. So now check out the many subjects taught by many different teachers. I think in Monroeville, there's a whole class on finances that is needed for graduation. Maybe the same government that demands this class (which I learned in a week and was embedded in another class) needs to take the class itself. China, that smart nation, only seems smart due to the fact that they teach mostly math and science and do away with the dribble classes. My daughter learns to make cookies. My son learns to help the office (???). So do these special classes make the kids smarter. In Monroeville, in the last "Parents Newsletter" that came home with the last report cards, on page 2...the "News Counselor News" page, in big BOLD LETTERS, the heading says "Ohio GRADUATION REQUIEREMENTS". Perhaps if reading and writing were still taught, they'd spell "requirements" right like they actually did on the second line of the article. I think they had a 1st grader sound it out for them. There's senior projects, Ohio test's, school test's...so much dribble. The garbage is not the teachers. It's all the core classes, just like the crooks in the colleges making future computer programmers take wasted classes on getting along with others, art, and other liberal classes with $200 books. My son actually has a $300 book for his BGSU PSEO class he takes. The book comes with an online access card that only you can use which makes the book unsellable after the class ends. Want to guess who pays for that book? Not us, since it's through the school. And those college books? Author makes a one paragraph change and wham, new edition next year, thus the one you have now is unsellable next year. Funny how the tree hugging liberal colleges support the death of soooo many trees from the millions of new editions every year... It's not the teachers, it's the education system that started with Lamar Alexander of Tennessee. It's 50 percent waste. And therefore, wasted money from the top down.
EDIT...Man, this crud irks me. They say “-- Increasing current athletic participation fees to $200 per sport at the high-school level and $100 at the middle school (a savings of $150,000).”
Is it a savings or a new tax? AND, how many kids that play sports are kept off the streets and away from the “other” way of life? How many of these kids are going to be able to afford the fee to play? So sports fees will weed out the rich, the middle class, and the poor. And get rid of a music teacher. Again, in the old days we learned reading, writing, and arithmetic. We also had band. We had woodshop, electronics, and typing. Funny thing about the sports fees. Honest to God, I was doing well in school until I became homeless. But even then I went to school, walking or riding my bike 7 miles after freshening up at the Shell station. It wasn’t until I was cut from the high school baseball team due to long hair (not even over my ears, I worked at an Albertsons grocery store and wasn’t allowed long hair) and an idiot coach that after being seen by a teacher while sleeping in the park that I dropped out of school. I tell you, if I had made the baseball team, no way would I have dropped out. NO WAY! And if I had lived at home with a normal family, would my dad have paid a fee for me to play? Not a chance. I had to use clarinet reeds until they felt like cream of wheat or snot spit goobers. Go ahead school system, make another ole45mag.

keystone

If you think that the teachers are making too much, the average teacher's salary in Norwalk is somewhere around $55,000 not the 75,000 those of you on here are throwing around. If you don't believe me, contact central office and ask for the figures. They are required to give them to you.

Before you complain about the higher paid teachers, let me remind you that this is the teacher who has 25 years experience plus a masters plus 45 hrs beyond the masters. The state now requires teachers to go back to school to keep their license. What other profession besides professional people require that.

@ cast the first stone. You claim the teachers avg 51.28 per hour. There is no teacher in Norwalk avg that. Call central office if you don't believe me. I just took my car in to have the oil changed and they charged $40 for 1/2 hr. Try calling a repairman to your house. Then people on here complain about teachers who have all that money tied into their education.

Before those of you jump on me for these statements, NO, I am not a teacher and I am NOT for the levy.

I agree with those of you in that the cuts should begin at the top.

I still believe that the earned income tax was the way to go along with cuts of the administration. They could do the cuts as stated here and lowered the earned income tax levy and still come out far ahead of where they would be with this property tax. Believe me i have figured this out and this is true.

Of course cutting one admin. could really help out.

They could build one school to house all our elem. students and the state would pay 63%. By closing all the other schools, they could probably save enough money to make up the shortfall. Of course our supt. has nixed that idea.

Vote NO on this levy and hold Mr. Doughty accountable. These are Mr. Doughty's cuts, not the board.

Those of you who were against Janet Broz and her cronies, you now have a 3 - 2 board rubber stamping Mr. Doughty. Guess you'll have to live with it until it comes time to vote.

CAST THE FIRST STONE

It is not just the wage it is benefits and retirement too. I took the numbers of the article you must not of read. 2 librarians making 75000 a piece look at it it is in the article that the school put out there. I only report the numbers i dont make them up. And we have a choice to go to a 40 dollar oil change or a 24.95 oil change. we have very little choice in school except our votes during a levy. I wish i could afford a 40 dollar oil change

ole45mag

keystone, you are correct. Teachers NEVER finish their educational process. My mom was a speech therapist in Hickman County Tennessee. She had 124 students when she was only supposed to have 65. It was the upper bosses that made her spend 4 hours a day at home trying to figure out how to teach these kids to talk. To get to this glorious job she went back to high school at 26, then Ohlone, San Jose State college in California while working full time at Fairchild Semi-Conductor in Palo Alto. She then finished up her masters at MTSU in Tennessee. AND had to deal with my life with my dad, until I had to leave home. So danged stressed. I've seen her so low. Then she died from Multiple Myeloma which to me, was stress related. So when it comes to the teachers, I feel for them. When it comes to admin...no feeling except distain. All the way to Obama.

rbenn

buckeyeinstitute.org has all the teachers salaries

kal-el

"Of course cutting one admin. could really help out."

In what way would that help or how is it even possible? Who would you cut? Do you have kids in school?

OHIOHOOSIER76

Yes, I have a child in NCS..

There is at least one administration position that can be cut, currently being held by someone that is double dipping.

fiddlesticks

You can see what every Norwalk City Schools employee is paid at www.buckeyeinstitute.org The person who teaches the gifted program and works with just a handful of students made over $74,000 in 2013. Looks like that would be a good place to cut!

WASP71

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal information.

Most Wanted.

WOW !!! You aren't kidding. I just checked out the website, and by no means is that the only example. VOTE NO !

Pages