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More Funding Cuts For Schools




David Deskins, Archbold Area School District superintendent, said school districts across Ohio are in line for more funding cuts from the state.

At a recent conference of school administrators, Deskins said he learned the State of Ohio revenue projections for this fiscal year are $96 million shy of the original estimates.

Therefore, the school can anticipate a reduction in state funding.

He passed the information along to school board members at the Monday night, Nov. 17, school board meeting.

Current plans are to cut 5% in December, plus another 5% in March 2009.

The cuts will come from the school’s foundation funding, its state subsidy.

“In the past, we’ve been able to dodge most foundation cuts, but there is a strong likelihood we will not avoid cuts and reductions this time,” he said.

Deskins said among the issues discussed was a bill before the state legislature to establish a special education voucher system, plus a bill on the current retire-rehire system for school personnel.

Retire-rehire allows a school employee to “retire,” collect their retirement checks, then return to the same job and draw a second check.

Deskins also told board members new persons on the State Board of Education could mean changes in the state requirements for school curriculums.

For example, some of the new board members are known to favor reductions in the required science curriculum.

Archbold schools are on the verge of hiring an additional teacher to meet current science requirements. If the district moves too quickly, they could hire a staffer that is not needed. If they don’t move quickly enough, the district could be faced with needing someone immediately.

Testing

Michelle Bagrowski, district curriculum director, said she is analyzing test results.

She said teachers are going to begin providing intervention for school students “who are just sitting on the line” of passing some state tests.

She said she and the teachers are also discussing some things that can be done in the classroom to improve test-taking skills.

In some cases, she said students know the answer to a question, but can’t express the answer correctly.

Bagrowski said under a new state law, teachers in grades kindergarten through six will be required to receive child abuse, neglect, and violence prevention training by March 2009.

The cost of the four-hour training, offered by the Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center, is $25 per teacher. Teachers must be retrained every five years.

Currently, the Ohio Department of Education is reimbursing districts for the fee, but the reimbursement is not expected to continue.

She said around 50 teachers must comply with the new requirement. So far, 32 have completed the training.

Action

Boards members approved Debra Zimmerman as a classifi ed substitute worker, effective Nov. 4, and approved Kraig Bostelman as a volunteer wrestling coach for the 2008-09 school year.

The board also approved meeting minutes and financial reports.

Also approved was a $79 change fund for the Archbold Elementary School Book Fair.

The board accepted two donations. One was valued at $90 from Brush Creek Sales & Rental for the use of a fan at the homecoming dance.

The second was a $50 donation from the Ridgeville American Legion Auxiliary. The group donated $50 for the elementary

school library.-David Pugh



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