Friday, September 17, 2004

Fairfield faces academic cuts if levy fails again

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer contributor

FAIRFIELD - Another levy defeat Nov. 2 would likely reduce academic programs in the Fairfield Schools to state minimums - or lower.

Superintendent Robert Farrell on Thursday outlined recommended cuts totaling $4.66 million that would have to be made to balance the 2004-2005 budget. The cuts include the elimination of 107 positions.

Among the positions are 88 teachers and seven administrators.

"It's time for our school district to come together for our children," Farrell said before a standing-room-only crowd of 170. "It's not the program we had last year, but we hope it's a compromise that a whole community can support."

About 14.5 percent of the teaching staff and 17.5 percent of administrators/non-teaching staff would be eliminated if the 4.9-mill is defeated, school officials said. If approved, the levy would bring $6.5 million annually to school coffers and increase taxes about $150 annually on a $100,000 house.

Three previous levies have been defeated in the last three years.

At the Intermediate School, the elimination of 12 teachers would end the Vision program for gifted students. Band, orchestra and chorus would end.

The reduction of 15 teachers at the middle school would reduce elective classes to those offered and funded by the Butler Technology and Career Development Schools. There would be no more computer, foreign language or band/orchestra.

At the freshman school, at least six teaching positions would be cut. No art, band, orchestra, chorus or general music would be offered.

The loss of at least 19 teachers at the senior high school would mean the end of the Choraliers show choir, band, orchestra, most art elective classes, and fewer elective courses.


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