Tuesday, May 21, 2002

Schools focus budget cuts

Little Miami plans $2M reduction

By Gina Buccino
Enquirer contributor

        HAMILTON TOWNSHIP — The Little Miami school board will meet tonight to discuss ways to cut $2 million from the budget after the defeat of a 6.9-mill operating levy.

        The board may also discuss whether to place the tax increase on the ballot again during a special election in August, or wait until the November general election. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at the high school li brary.

        Superintendent Ralph Shell will present a list of cost-saving measures for the 2002-03 budget.

        Some 80 percent of the budget goes to personnel, with 20 percent for opera tions.

        The levy would have generated $2.7 million, an increase of $1.77 million above the current revenue of $930,000.

        “The product we turn out is an educated person,” said Mr. Shell. “How do you put a price on that?”

        He said the board will look at all areas for cuts.

        Even before the May 7 election, the district was finding ways to save money, from reducing education supplies, decreasing field trips and eliminating guidance counselors from the elementary schools.

        The superintendent said a March report from the Ohio School Facilities Commission to the board to replace all buildings except the high school is on hold.

        He said the importance issue now is having money to operate schools.

        Mr. Shell, in his first year as superintendent, has already said sports will be one area that will see changes. Students in high school will have to pay $200 per sport, and $185 for junior high school.


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