October 21, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
46°F
test

Midview to announce planned cuts in high school gym

EATON TWP. — Sports are on the chopping block if a levy doesn’t pass for the Midview Schools, and so many people are expected to attend the meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday that it has been moved to the high school gymnasium.

Superintendent John Kuhn said he will release his plan for how the district will carve $2.3 million a year from its budget to the school board before the meeting, where the board is expected to vote on the cuts for the 2013-14 school year.

“Nothing is finalized yet,” Kuhn said in an email Thursday. “We only know that we need to cut $2.3 million in services if we cannot pass a levy.”

The potential loss of sports in the district is attracting the most attention.

School board President David Zunis said pay-to-play is already $550. He said there could not be full pay-to-play because the district picks up more than half of the cost of offering sports, and the cost of full pay-to-play for some families would be prohibitive. If sports are eliminated, athletes would be free to transfer to other districts, he said.

The school day of 7½ hours could be slashed to 5 to 5½ hours and advanced placement classes and other electives such as French and business courses could be eliminated.

The times for a shortened school day are not yet set. However, elementary students would possibly arrive earlier and be dismissed before secondary-aged students, Kuhn said.

Students from grades seven through 12 could start the day later than kindergarten through fourth grade and be dismissed after the elementary day has concluded, he said.

At the last meeting, Kuhn spoke of “devastating cuts to staff,” saying more than 40 employees could be let go, although eight planned retirements might help to bring that figure down.

At the last meeting, the board also decided to leave a 9.75-mill property tax levy on the ballot at a special election in February. The tax would raise $4.6 million a year for 10 years and keep current programs in place for at least four years.

It has been 19 years since voters in the Midview Schools approved new money, and Midview could rank dead last in the state in spending per pupil if the cutbacks take place, officials said.

In recent weeks, the Midview Schools received a letter from the state asking what steps would be taken by the district to avoid the looming deficits, and the answer is due this month.

On Nov. 6, a combination income tax and property tax for the Midview Schools failed 5,723 to 3,606, or 61 percent to 39 percent.

Contact Cindy Leise at 329-7245 or cleise@chroniclet.com.