CUYAHOGA FALLS -- The city school district's leader is planning to present the Board of Education with a plan this week to reduce expenditures by about $2 million for the 2017-18 school year.

Cuyahoga Falls City School District Superintendent Dr. Todd Nichols told the Falls News-Press that he is planning to present proposed cuts to the School Board May 3 to reduce costs even if a renewal levy request is approved the day before (See story on levy on Page 4). Though the reductions would be focused on staffing, Nichols said there will also be discussions on changing policies in an effort to limit the impact on staffing.

"To some degree we will present options for the Board to consider," he added. " More detail will be provided to the Board May 3."

Nichols noted the staffing cuts will "negativly impact programming," but said officials will try to minimize that impact. Another effect of the reductions is that "class sizes in the middle and high school will likely increase," Nichols said.

Though he declined to offer more detail, Nichols said the proposed reductions are designed "primarily to recover from forecasted losses from FY16, FY17 and FY18 as reported in the October 2016 Five-year Forecast."

In Fiscal Year 2016, expenditures exceeded revenues by approximately $1.048 million, according to Nichols. Meanwhile, in Fiscal Year 2017 expenditures are projected to outpace revenues by $712,364, according to Nichols.

Nichols added that October five-year forecasts since 2013 have "predicted the current situation."

"Over the years, we have attempted to offset the position by placing a permanent improvement levy and a combination levy (bond and permanent improvement) on the ballot," said Nichols. "Unfortunately, neither were successful."

The permanent improvement levy was on the ballot in May 2013, while the combination levy was before voters in November 2015.

"The funds are needed and would have made a big difference," said Nichols.

Nichols also noted that if the renewal levy is not passed on either May 2 or sometime in 2017, he would recommend more cuts, which would "require additional reductions in programming."

The Board will meet on May 3 at 6 p.m. in the Cuyahoga Falls High School Library, 2300 Fourth St.


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