Thursday, March 11, 2004

Ross cutting costs after issue's failure

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer contributor

ROSS TWP. - Spending in Ross Schools will be decreased by about $30,000 through June, and educators will begin looking at ways to further reduce costs for the 2004-05 school year.

The action comes about a week after voters rejected a combination issue that would have brought district coffers $270,169 annually for daily operations and about $810,508 for building maintenance, textbooks and educational equipment.

"Without additional revenue or cuts, we'll be in a deficit" in the 2006-07 school year, said Superintendent David McWilliams.

McWilliams said the district of 2,650 students would reduce its textbook purchases by $5,000 this year, reduce each building budget by $1,000 to $1,500 and cut technology spending by $15,000.

When it's time to go back to voters, McWilliams said he might recommend a 4-mill continuous levy instead of the combination levy because it might be clearer to the public. It would raise the same $1,080,000 the failed levy would have, said Treasurer Tracy Jarvis.

"I think breaking the money into operations and permanent improvement led to some misinterpretation,'' McWilliams said. "We can use general fund money for permanent improvements.''

Jarvis said the district used reserves to balance its budget nearly two years ago, but that money will be depleted during the 2006-07 school year.


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