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The Suburbanite
  • Tuscarawas Valley school district cuts busing

  • All 18 existing bus routes were abolished Monday when Tuscarawas Valley Board of Education met. The routes will be abolished, effective Jan. 5 due to a lack of funds, the result of the defeat of an emergency operating levy Nov. 5.
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  • All 18 existing bus routes were abolished Monday when Tuscarawas Valley Board of Education met. The routes will be abolished, effective Jan. 5 due to a lack of funds, the result of the defeat of an emergency operating levy Nov. 5.
    Superintendent Mark Murphy said letters will be mailed to parents or guardians of all students in fifth through 12th grades, that will outline and describe all transportation changes in the district.
    Letters also will be sent home with students in kindergarten through fourth grades outlining the changes.
    After abolishing existing routes, board members then approved the creation and posting of 18 new bus routes to transport kindergarten through eighth-grade students, effective Jan. 6. Students in ninth through 12th grades no longer will be bused due to the cutbacks.
    These cuts will save the district $195,000.
    The board then established a starting time of 8:25 a.m. and dismissal at 2:55 p.m. for primary, intermediate and middle school students.
    "Our hands are tied as a board," said board member Dick Gooding. "We have continued to push back the deficit by making cuts, which were made very clear last May. What will now be done will hurt the kids.
    "We (the board) will stay the course. We have an excellent school district."
    Murphy said the board will need to determine the next step in placing another levy on the ballot. He said the 8.9 mill 10-year emergency operating levy was defeated by 148 votes. If a levy passes in May 2014, the district would not generate any additional money until 2015.
    "I want to thank the 1,153 who did support the levy and a thank you to Garry Sears and Terri Davis for serving as co-chairman of the levy," Murphy said.
    Murphy presented a letter to the board from the Office of Finance Program Services of the Ohio Department of Education. The letter states the district's five-year forecast projects a negative unreserved fund balance exceeding two percent of revenue beginning in Fiscal Year 2015-16.
    Murphy said all field trips have been suspended so no mixed messages are sent. Century 21 Grant field trips also ahve been eliminated except for after school designated stops.
    The spring athletics season and those students participating will pay double transportation fees to help offset the transportation costs but the fees will not pay solely for transportation. If there is not enough students to field a team, the coach will be cut.