Saturday, July 15, 2000

Schools can pay for buses, sports

By Andrea Tortora
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Busing, extracurricular activities and athletics can be funded at current levels for the full 2000-2001 school year, Cincinnati Public Schools officials said Friday.

        Last week, board members said the district might have to cut extracurriculars and busing halfway through the year if a November operating tax levy fails.

        The latest adjustments to the proposed $374 million budget mean the district can spend $3 million on clubs and sports and $20 million on busing.

        The Board of Education is scheduled to vote on the budget July 24.

        Under the latest budget plans, when school starts in August, students will be able to participate in at least two sports for each season.

        Students will receive bus service if they live more than 1 mile from a school. Those who ride Metro buses will pay 25 cents each way, or 50 cents a day.

        Because of end-of-the-year adjustments, the district has more money than it realized, said board member Lynn Marmer, who heads the finance committee.

        The 1999-2000 budget called for spending $336 million. But $327 million was spent, leaving the district with a $9 million carry-over.

        Most of that money — just over $8 million — was saved by individual schools.

        Assistant Treasurer Michael Geoghegan said schools followed sound fiscal discipline.

        “There was a lot of belt tightening,” Mr. Geoghegan said. “Everyone thought they would hit hard times because of the levies” not passing.


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