CUYAHOGA FALLS — No final decisions have been made, but the Cuyahoga Falls City School District Board of Education may vote to eliminate more than 20 staff positions before the end of the school year.
The district’s administration and school board could decide to eliminate 22 staff members and three Individual Small Group Instructors (ISGI), according to information presented at the school board’s April 3 meeting. This is fewer than the reduction of 26 staff and three ISGI that was recommended at the March 20 meeting.
Superintendent Dr. Todd Nichols said the school board on April 3 directed the administration to use a student-teacher ratio of 25:1 rather than 30:1 for grades 7 and 8 to determine the number of district positions that could be eliminated.
"The net result is that we will be reducing four less staff members [than was originally recommended]," said Nichols.
The cuts could save the district an estimated $1.9 million, but "the actual amount will depend on the specific individuals involved," said Nichols.
"Over the next six weeks, we will experience more attrition that may impact the final list," Nichols added.
A final list of staff cuts will go before the board in May, Nichols said.
Last year, the district laid off 18 teachers because of anticipated budget shortfalls.
Nichols said the foundation for the proposed cuts comes from a recent special audit completed by the state, which recommended cost saving measures for the district which, according to its five-year forecast, will be operating at a deficit in fiscal year 2021. According to an updated five-year forecast sent to the Ohio Department of Education in January, the district will be $2.4 million in the red in fiscal year 2021.
During the March 20 meeting, Nichols presented a combination of staff cuts, plus a possible 10-mill levy that would raise both operational funds and money to support the district’s Master Facilities plan, which is also being discussed.
In addition, money generated from a November 2017 emergency levy, earmarked for capital improvements, technology, curriculum, human resources and contingency planning, could also be reallocated, Nichols said. The five-year emergency levy is projected to raise $3.6 million annually or $18 million.
Note: Reporter Phil Keren contributed to this story.
Reporter April Helms can be reached at 330-541-9423, email@example.com, or @AprilKHelms_RPC