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Springfield schools begins to approve reductions

Carolynn Mostyn
Suburbanite correspondent

SPRINGFIELD TWP.  The Springfield Local Schools Board of Education has begun approving reduction of force due to financial issues.

During the Dec. 15 virtual meeting, the board first accepted the retirement resignations of teachers Cathy Berlo, Kathy Zehner and Classified Employee Sue Hennigin, all effective June 1. It also accepted the resignation of classified employee Cheryl Wagner, effective Jan. 4.

Positions eliminated included an eight-hour custodian at the junior/senior high school, a six-hour custodian at Schrop Elementary, a two-hour administration building, a six-hour custodian at Spring Hill Elementary, a student activities clerk, a teaching assistant, an elementary assistant, a Schrop Intermediate library, a library clerk and a bus driver.

The board reduced hours for a custodian at Young Elementary and an athletic secretary to four hours per day.

The Board also approved a reduction in force, effective Jan. 1, for seven classified employees. It then approved staffing reassignments.

Treasurer Chris Adams reported that the district total estimated expenditures are in line. Actual expenses are $29,837,000 and the budget is $29,773,000.

“We are basically on budget," Adams said.

Adams added that he does not anticipate any money from the state at this point.

“We have not had growth on our revenue and that is where it hurts," he said. 

Adams said the district has submitted the fiscal report to the Ohio Board of Education and the board has inquired how the district was going to get out of the fiscal caution this year. Adams informed the state Board of Education that the district is looking at a short-term loan to get them through this year.

“If we do get a loan, we are going to try to do our darndest to keep it at a minimum,” said Adams. “I want everyone to know that this is a temporary setback. It is a painful setback, but it is not going to last forever."

The deficit at the end of this school year is estimated to be $2.5 million.

In other business, the Board:

• Approved an athletic supplemental contract for the 2021-22 school year for John Kinsey as varsity football head coach.

• Approved a master electric energy sales agreement with ENGIE Resources to continue participating in the energy group purchase program.

Business Manager Dustin Boswell thanked the board for passing the energy agreement as he said it will result in a savings of funds for the district. 

• Approved a resolution authorizing the advance of local taxes by the county fiscal office for the 2020 tax year, payable in 2021.

• Named Neal Hess as president pro-tem until the 2021 president is selected at the organizational meeting.

• Accepted donations from the Springfield Youth Basketball Association of $1,500 to the girls high school basketball program; a donation of $60 to the boys high school soccer team from Tom and Nena Pittinger, grandparents of student Carter Welch; and $100 to the Spartan Caring Closet from Linda and Bradley Birch.

• Superintendent Chuck Sincere said the district recognized a few retirees and usually in June or July it recognizes all retirees and gives them a bell.

• The free lunches passed out at door J at the high school will continue during winter break on Mondays and Wednesdays serving two meals each day for those two weeks. Then they will go back to the normal meal schedule. Times are 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. This is not something that the district pays for. It is reimbursed by the Department of Agriculture for the meals.

An organizational meeting of the board of education and the next regular board meeting are scheduled back to behind at 6 p.m., Jan. 12.