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

nannagina52

Isn't it funny when the school system decided to move kids all over town the board wanted to get the opinion of the parents of how they feel about it. Then when the decision was made, the board didn't care what parents had to say about it. They decided that all by themselves! I have always wondered why they didn't ask for a vote then? Now because of that buses are moving kids from one side of the city to another, adding more expense for gas. While when it was neighborhood schools gas was less because kids withing a mile of school were walkers. Now you want more money, of course we'll vote on that. I'll always vote no until the system is changed back to the way it was. Why change it in the first place, it wasn't broke. I graduated from this system and it ran just fine. It should have been left alone.

nannagina52

Also, I see the board is up to its old tricks. Trying to scare people into voting by using threats. Real adult of them!

Tom Paine's picture
Tom Paine

Charge a kid $50 to be part of a club? Seriously people? They can spray paint your car and break shop windows downtown for FREE. Cut, cut, cut… pay to play… trim it how you have to trim it, but when kids have nothing to do, the entire community suffers for years to come. I can see one of those future delinquents spray painting misspelled curse words over the "Norwalk is a kids place" sign.

Contango

Re: "but when kids have nothing to do,"

With all due respect; when did it become society's i.e. taxpayers, issue to insure that children have something "to do"?

H*ll, taxpayers help fund single moms to pop out 'puppies,' and then they pay to feed, educate, and entertain 'em too?

We should be able to deduct 'em as dependents on our fed income tax.

I know seniors that need work performed around their residences, like mowing, trimming, et. al.

I even called NHS and SPH and tried to find some energetic kid to help one senior. THUD!

Let 'em have some initiative and work for 'something to do.'

Dr. Information

Sports do a lot of things for kids. Time management, team building, learning how to take criticism and develop from it. I know the non athletes on here think otherwise but sports are a great outlet for many kids and its something they actually like to do. Of course, there will always be the people who would rather cut all sports and have these kids go home to their gaming system or internet (ruining our youth) for their entertainment so they can save another $1-2 a month on their tax bill.

ThomasJefferson

@Tiger1 Moving Mr. Duncan to AD is a good suggestion. But why stop there? Does a district this size really need an Asst. Supt with two secretaries? One is the highest paid secretary in the district, and the other has two paid positions with the schools, and is paid for 10 hours a day. (These positions can be viewed on the buckeyeinstitute website) The Benedict building is ancient, a drain to maintain, and it never has made any sense to house the administrators there.

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