Three-year financial projections for the three plans to reconfigure Conneaut School District’s schools range from a savings of $8.8 million to budget cuts of nearly $6 million.
During a special session Tuesday night, Conneaut School Board reviewed the projections with just two members of the public attending the open meeting.
Board members are prohibited by law from voting on a final reconfiguration plan until April 30 — three months after a public hearing detailing all three options. A special meeting is scheduled for April 30 at 6:30 p.m. in Linesville High School auditorium.
At the present time, the district provides one elementary school for students in kindergarten through grade six and one secondary school for grades nine through 12 in each of its three attendance areas, Conneaut Lake, Conneaut Valley and Linesville.
Business Manager Kara Onorato prepared budget forecasts for fiscal years 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 based on what she described as the best available estimates for salaries, retirement costs, state funding, property tax increases and transportation estimates as well as maintaining the district’s fund balance at a minimum 5 percent of the prior year’s expenditures. Final numbers were based on staffing reductions, transportation, maintenance savings on building closures and estimated state reimbursement changes resulting from building closures and staff reductions.
District Superintendent Jarrin Sperry’s recommendation will save the district $5.9 million during the first three years following implementation if school starting times remain unchanged and $8.8 million if elementary and secondary starting times are staggered, allowing school buses to make multiple runs. No budget cuts would be required to maintain a 5 percent fund balance.
Sperry’s plan includes:
- Grades kindergarten through four at Conneaut Valley Elementary and Conneaut Lake Elementary;
- Grades five to eight at both Conneaut Valley and Conneaut Lake middle schools (formerly Conneaut Valley and Conneaut Lake high schools);
- Create a grades nine through 12 complex at what is presently the district’s Linesville campus.
Board member David Schaef’s recommendation will save the district $6.4 million during the first three years following implementation if school starting times remain unchanged and $7.8 million if elementary and secondary starting times are staggered, allowing school buses to make multiple runs. No budget cuts would be required to maintain a 5 percent fund balance.
Schaef’s plan includes:
- Current kindergarten through sixth grade configurations in all district elementary schools;
- Grades seven through nine at Conneaut Lake Middle School (formerly Conneaut Lake High School);
- Grades 10 to 12 at Linesville High School;
- Close Conneaut Valley High School.
Board member Carol Bocan’s recommendation is the only one that would require budget cuts to maintain the 5 percent fund balance after the first year of implementation. During the 2013-14 fiscal year, $686,779 in cuts would be required; that number would climb to $5.1 million in cuts to balance the 2014-15 budget.
Bocan’s plan includes:
- Grades kindergarten through five in all current district elementary buildings;
- Grades six through 12 in all current district high school;
- Institute four-day school week;
- Pay-to-play for all student activities.
Mary Spicer can be reached at 724-6370 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org