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.




Looks good to need to vote for the levy! Thank you Mr. Doughty


lol! Agree, vote NO!

Whiskey Tango F...

Way to trim all of the bottom branches but none of the top! A 25k assistant? Come on! Essesentially NO administrative cut! Looks like another NO vote from this guy! Keep trimming, EVERYONE ELSE HAS TO!!!


Why didnt they do this earlier. 4 teaching positions 300,000 dollars. Can anyone out there divide 4 into 300,000 and then come up with the answer to the problem. The average ohio teacher works 195 days per year divided by 75,000 equals $384 per day divided by 7.5 hr work day which most have equals 51.28 per hour. WOW.WOW. This is what the meetings should be about. Now all you unfair paid teachers that picket and put signs in your yards tell us about the mega hrs you grade papers. Who will be first. Those numbers are the reason our schools are in trouble and nothing else. Oh yes I almost forgot 2 librarians 150,000 REALLY. So 1/2 the levy is for 6 people are you kidding me

The Truant Officer

I like your math even though it turns the stomach. I'd like to know why it took them so long to start looking at cutting some of those positions. Why do they need to wait for a vote??? If those positions are on the chopping block then GO AHEAD and cut them out! The sooner they start saving money, the better!!! These proposed cuts SHOULD HAPPEN regardless of wether the levy passes or not. I'm never going to give them a yes vote unless they cut expenses to match the extra taxes they want me to pay them!!!

former local

Oh yeah, lets cut teaching staff, increase classroom size to 30 students or so, then have parents complain because little Johnny isn't getting the individual attention or help he needs because parents won't do it at home!!!!


Why not.. as you see one of the cuts are "child find" at elementary?? does that mean 5-6-7 yr olds will be roaming? getting lost? not watched after?
That is what i don't get.. Got to be kidding..How can that be Safe School?

former local

Maybe you should go to the school and ask what that is??? Surely you want to be informed don't you??


no.. just doesn't sound right.. but i did the right thing and moved my very young children to a, better school one town north..this past year. taxes, drugs, people and there pajama wearing bad attitude, non-willing to work, political/city official corruption, school switching is what got me buy a house so your kids can go to a certain elementary, then they change the system.. i just don't get Norwalk anymore.


Wow! No cuts from the top down? If I'm wrong on this please tell me.

Really are you ...

Cuts at the top. Now that is a real inconvenience. Their rebuttal would be the degrees of higher education they hold.

If these administrators are not being paid enough managing our school system. Maybe they could become a plant manager in our plentiful manufacturing plants. Then they could work all year long.

Most Wanted

Cast The First Stone, first of all I am not a teacher but know plenty of them and your assessment of what they do and what you feel they are worth is insulting. I agree cuts need to be made, but cutting teachers is not the answer and insulting their wages is not your place until you go in and do their job for a year...if you can. Closing that League Street School makes more sense to me. Combining the students and having less overhead building expense; getting rid of some upper management/secretarial/janitorial employees from the League St. school, keeping as many teachers and aids to accommodate the new classrooms at whatever school the League St. students are moved to would be a better way to save money first and least effect the students education. I would think many parents who live near the school would disagree but the best way to cut expenses if possible would be to eliminate a building. Norwalk is losing jobs left and right. The last thing we want to do right now is lesson our schools ability to provide an education to the children in our community. Cut a building and the job cuts that come with that is because we closed a building, not lessoned our children's ability to get a good education. I'm sure there's more to closing a school building then I'm aware of but if they are saying it's a possibility...then do it, because it seems to me it will save the most money and in the end get rid of some of the top and middle employees we don't need and save more of the educators that we do need.

Most Wanted.

How can you be insulted when you aren't a teacher and don't even live in Norwalk ? Also, why do you want to pick on the poor janitors when you probably have no idea what kind of crap they have to face each day ? I do agree with you about closing league street school, however I think they should consider the idea of closing all the elementary buildings and combining them into one new and efficient building. That move could eliminate a lot of over head and also drastically reduce bus routes. The schools own a lot of property in this town that could be sold off. I respect your opinion, however I just value the opinion of those who pay norwalk school taxes a lot more. By the way though, I am curious to know how you feel about the new all sports complex they want to build ? It's supposed to be built with donations and fundraisers but where will the money come from to heat and cool it along with maintenance ? It's kind of funny how the school board conveniently forgets to mention the subject when they discuss proposed budget cuts. If I was one of the insulted overpaid teachers I would be very concerned about it.


you think 6 school employees are worth 450,000 per year. i am not saying their jobs are not important. a state troopers job is important too and they make much much less..less than half of a librarian. cannot see any argument that can justify that. cannot believe school put this out there. I bet all people that were on the border of voting yes or no will now vote no.


No they don't! OSHP start at 60, plus don't forget the 20yrs. and your out with full pension


they start at 16.76 per hr

former local

Couldn't agree more. Who EVER thought the teaching profession would no longer be respected. It's a sad day for this country!


Just remember - voting no will only hurt the children. They will not receive the attention needed, their classes will be more crowded, they will have more unstructured time instead of instruction. And they are your leaders for tomorrow. Teens who need positive interaction with others the most will no longer be able to participate in sports or after school activities due to cost. Children in need of counseling will not receive it. And then when we are reading all about these kids in police reports and asked to pay higher taxes to incarcerate them - you can all write some more comments.


so throwing money around like sailors is the only way we can have kids get a good education. great logic. this has been your sides answers for years and the money has ran out

Most Wanted.

Ehove mom doesn't understand that sports and after school activities aren't the backbone of a good education. I'm not saying that sports don't contribute some but classroom time and homework are the driving forces for a solid education. I'm surprised her comment didn't say that wood shop was as important as math.

former local

EXACTLY!!! I see NO significant sports cuts. I mean, after all when is the last time the local paper printed 30 pictures from a quiz bowl match like they do for football and basketball!!

J Cooper

I am sure the "kids on police reports" were given every opportunity to succeed it was either the lack of parenting or their own lack of responsibility that lead them to the criminal justice system. In these difficult economic times go back to the basic education that the children need and the taxpayers can afford. Social engineering is not the responsibility of the schools or taxpayers. The old "its for the children" won't work, its for the teachers unions.

former local

Most of the time it IS a lack of parental supervision.


If I were an employer and read these blogs, I wouldn't locate my business in Norwalk.

Most Wanted.

These comments have nothing to do with employers coming to town or not. Companies go to where they can receive tax abatements. That's why they call it corporate welfare. This community doesn't support corporate welfare, and when it has been supported in the past, the schools have never agreed to go along.

former local

Companies go to where there is an educated workforce who is willing to go the extra step. These comments make me ashamed of my hometown. I don't remember people being this negative when I was a child.


Re: "If I were (snip)"

A fallacy.

And just reading the NR website, with all the business closings, drugs, crime, et. al. has got to be a positive right?


Every city in America has crime, drugs, etc. However, every city does not have the attitude toward education that this town has. You're content to give the kids the bare minimum. You reap what you sow. Enjoy the race to the bottom.


Re: "Every city in America has crime, drugs, etc"

A straw man argument.

"You, you, you"? So you don't even live here and you're bomb throwin'?

So in what Lake Wobegon do you live where all the schools are fully funded and all the levies get passed?


I believe you brought up the straw man argument and I responded.

I live here and I support the schools with my vote. I'm referring to people of your mindset, Contango, who think they are entitled to have everything but not pay for it, and are too lazy to really get the facts.