SPRINGIELD TWP. Springfield Local Schools Treasurer Chris Adams presented an unsettling five year forecast to the Board of Education during the May 18 meeting.
"The five year forecast has dramatically changed," Adams said. "It is the first time I am not including the renewal levy on the forecast."
Adams explained that the levy cannot be on the forecast, by law, unless it has been passed.
Adams added the levy has been around for 30 years. The annual cost to residents averages $112.70, or 31 cents a day.
"A third of a cup of coffee at Speedway," Adams said. "People look at the fact that we have money in the bank and that it is good, but the district is going to hit a 'tipping point' where the expenditures exceed revenues and the cash reserves get transferred into day to day operations."
During the meeting, a long list of personnel items were approved including a reduction of three bus drivers, teaching assistants and educational assistants. Some of those positions will be restored if the renewal levy is passes.
Adams said without the renewal there will be no cash reserves within two to three years. That would mean either large cuts, including more job reductions, or putting a larger operating levy on the ballot.
"We know how difficult that is, when we can't pass a renewal levy that is quite inexpensive," Adams said. "It is disheartening, but I am very confident in the community."
Adams said the renewal is about education, and if any residents have questions or concerns they should call him.
"Come in and we can discuss the information everything is available to you, you are the tax payers." He said.
In two years, the district will be spending $2.3 million more than it brings in. In three years, that will grow to $3 million more, and the reserves will be gone.
"Those reserves are precious to this district and precious to me personally because when I got here we didn't have reserves," Adams said. "We borrowed money from the bank to meet the payroll. We worked really, really hard to build these reserves up in case of emergency."
In other news:
n Presentations were a big part of the meeting held at Schrop Intermediate School. Students taught board members and attendees about their work with Google Classrooms.
After the presentation, the students shared their Chrome Books with members of the board and audience and explained their work. Teachers Kristine DiLauro and Melanie Smethers spoke to the board about how the program has increased writing skills, team building and mentoring. It also is teaching the students to respect the equipment at a young age.
n Principal Shawn Morgan, Board President Dave Hofer and Superintendent Chuck Sincere rededicated the memorial plaques that had been displayed in the former high school. They honor the service members and remember the sacrifices they made in honor of their country.
"We honor our heroes, remember their achievements, their courage, dedication and say thank you for their sacrifices," Sincere said. "These service members and past students of Springfield Local Schools shared several fundamental qualities. They process courage, pride, determination, dedication to duty and integrity."
These plaques will be displayed during the Memorial Day parade in Lakemore and then hung on the walls of the new school.
Springfield resident Elva Pounders has been helping on the project and donated piece of the USS Arizona that is included with the plaques. She said two Springfield men - Peter Dean Ott and Wayne Harold Presson - were aboard the Arizona and killed when it went down.
n In honor of National Law Enforcement Week, a moment of silence was held for police officers who have fallen in the line of duty. Members of the Springfield Police Department, the Volunteer Auxiliary Springfield Police (VASP) and the Explorer Post were at the meeting and honored by the Board of Education. Members of the Police Department spoke about their presence in the schools with a full time school officer, the truancy program, officers reading to kindergarten classes each week, the K-9 Unit visiting and the first Safety Town Program, which will be held this summer.
"We are trying to offer more and more things for your kids," said Community Policing Officer Dan Rafferty. "We want to be a part of your community. We think this community is a great community, and we have a great school district. We are building a positive relationships with our kids and with our community. These men and women care about your community and your schools."
Sincere and Hofer presented police Capt. Ken Ray with a certificate.
"We appreciate the hard work that you do, the support that you give the schools, the help and safety you provide for our children not only in the schools, but also outside of the schools," Sincere said. "We could not do it without you."
n Four service agreements and contracts were approved, including one with the Summit County Educational Service Center (SCESC) to provide eight days of speech language pathologist services and a contract with Northeast Ohio Network for Educational Technology to provide IP Telephony service. Also approved was a contract with Gardiner to provide HAVC services for the grades 7 to 12 building and a contract with the SCESC to provide preschool services as needed.
n Donations were approved––$121.50 from VASP to provide breakfast for the student body at Spring Hill Elementary and a $50 scholarship donation in memory of Wilbur Eugene McIntyre class of 1942.
n The board went into executive session to discuss preparing for, conduction, or reviewing negotiations or bargaining sessions with employees and matters required to be kept confidential . No action was taken and the meeting was adjourned.
n The next meeting will be held at 6 p.m., June 21 in the Community Room at the High School Junior High building.