July 28, 2014

Elyria
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Lorain school board enters into loan

LORAIN — A $3 million loan to keep Lorain Schools from going broke in the spring and being taken over by the state was approved Thursday night by Board of Education members.

Despite passage last month of a levy that will raise about $3.1 million annually and $7.3 million in cuts earlier this year, the district still has a $4.7 million deficit.

Board members voted 4 to 1 for the loan with supporters saying a takeover could mean automatic levies and cuts to minimum standards in a distict that laid off 182 employees earlier this year and cut several academic programs.

“The reality is, if we don’t borrow again, we’re going to have to cut drastically,” board member Tony Dimacchia said.

However, board member Jim Smith, who voted no, said the district has borrowed about $10 million in the last six years and even with the loan still projects a $1.1 million deficit by June. Smith supported a takeover because it would’ve allowed for an interest-free advance to eliminate the deficit and borrowing costs.

“I don’t think it’s fiscally prudent to borrow to get out of debt only to get back into debt and because it’s going to have a negative effect on our children,” he said.

See Friday’s Chronicle-Telegram for the full story.

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com