By Sue Kiesewetter
MIDDLETOWN - The Middletown Schools will eliminate 45 positions as part of a five-part plan aimed at reducing spending by $2 million or more.
The move is necessary to eliminate a $1.7 million deficit projected for June 2006.But to make the plan work, voters will have to renew a three-year, $4 million levy on the March 2 ballot along with a second renewal next year.
Neither would raise taxes. If voters reject the renewal levy, officials will have to determine where to make further cuts.
"We are hopeful and expect (reductions) will take place through normal retirements and attrition,'' said Dr. Mark Frazer, president of the Middletown Board of Education.
A representative of the Middletown Education Association could not be reached for comment.
Enrollment has dropped by 550 students over the last two years, to 7,143 students. During that same period, staffing was cut by 37 positions, mostly by attrition, said Edmund Pokora, schools treasurer.
The district also reduced costs by closing Oneida Elementary School in 2002 and Jefferson last year. About $125,000 was saved through an administrative reorganization a year ago.
Even with next year's staff reduction - which includes about 40 teachers and one administrator - the ratio of students to teachers district wide in grades K-12 will only increase from 19:1 to 20:1.
The plan calls for a reduction of nine positions at the high school level, seven at the middle school level and 14 in elementary. The final 15 would come from special education, art, music, physical education and similar areas.
Besides reducing staff, which should save about $1.7 million, the plan also calls for:
A 15 percent reduction in capital improvement projects, which should save $200,000.
Decreased spending on supplies and materials by 5 percent, for a $90,000 savings.
Seeking alternate funding without raising taxes through Medicaid reimbursement for services to special needs students and through Internet access reimbursement. Those two should bring $250,000 to district coffers.
Reviewing alternative school programs such as those at Garfield and Project Connect. Savings up $300,000 are anticipated over the next few years.
Gov. Taft stresses jobs, tax overhaul
Businesses liked tone, but wonder how it can be done
UC transplant doc receives new liver
Oxford's WOXY Net-only after sale
Summit students back at school
Summit pupils feel right at home
Twitty's conviction erased from the record
IN THE TRISTATE
One hurt in plant fire in Madison Township
Fest plans to reclaim 'Cinco'
Columbia Twp. administrator renewed
Expulsions will be fewer
Dute to be retried on charges of pandering
Eastern corridor transit plans open for discussion
Motive will determine sentencing in slaying
Felicity library observes 10th year
Junk cars, blaring stereos to be cited by Fairfield cops
Last funds hurdle cleared
Faith better than being cool, Bengals' Kitna tells students
Lakota lists cutbacks if levy fails
Middletown schools to trim
Warren deputy released on bond in drug case
Judge: Allen must testify
Norwood rejects contract negotiated for firefighters
Business adviser to Haitians uses what he learned
Public safety briefs
Lynch opposes police hiring
District head is award winner
Hall pass or not, this baby's coming
Money reallocated to veterans service
Volunteers may oversee W. Chester money issues
Yard sign restriction challenged in court
Bronson: Adult battles could ruin kids' games
Crowley: Ruby saves his first team for late-night meal
Good Things Happening
Burlington seeks sidewalk help
Church's bank accounts investigated
NKU thrilled with budget