April 16, 2014

Elyria
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Lorain district cuts 30 more jobs

Axing support, administrators part of schools’ deficit reduction plan

LORAIN — Another 30 workers with the Lorain Schools have lost their jobs.
Support and administrative staff at the Charleston Administration Center were let go Thursday, one week to the day after Superintendent Dee Morgan announced the elimination of 246 teaching positions because of the district’s severe financial problems.
Morgan, however, declined Thursday to reveal which positions at the center were cut because two of the dismissed workers are on vacation and had not been reached by district officials. She said she would not release the list of eliminated positions until everyone had been notified for fear of causing confusion among the staff.
Instead, Morgan said she would release details of the cuts at 3 p.m. today.
The employees who were notified Thursday packed their belongings and left the Charleston Administration Center for good, she said.
Thursday’s staff reduction was the second round of job  cuts as the district attempts to make up a $4.75 million budget shortfall expected by June 30, with the deficit expected to grow to $15 million by next year.
Eliminating the 246 teacher positions will cut $12.5 million from the district’s $91 million budget. The additional cuts call for $1 million in administrative positions, $2.2 million in non-certified personnel and $250,000 in non-athletic supplemental personnel.
Secretaries, custodians and other non-certified staff across the district will be eliminated in the coming days.
The school system’s financial problems came to a head recently when new Treasurer Ryan Ghizzoni discovered there was not enough cash in the district’s checking account to meet the June payrolls, according to Lowell Davis, who has served as treasurer and financial consultant for Ohio school districts for more than 35 years.
Ghizzoni also discovered the district’s projections for charter school expenses were underestimated.
Ohio Department of Education documents show the number of Lorain’s students has been declining steadily as students move to charter schools. Since October 2003, the district has lost about 1,350 students, along with their $5,500 per-pupil funding from the state, which the school district must hand over to the charter schools.
In October 2003, the number of students attending Lorain schools was 8,100. Last month, the district had 6,752 students, Ohio Department of Education documents show.
Contact Bette Pearce at 329-7148 or bpearce@chroniclet.com.