January 15, 2021
The Beavercreek City Schools Board of Education yesterday voted to accept a plan to cut more than $8.5 million from the district’s budget if the May 4, 2021 renewal ballot issue fails. The list of proposed cuts include personnel reductions and elimination of key programs and services.
“This is one of the worst things we have to do,” said Paul Otten, superintendent of Beavercreek City Schools. “The teachers, staff, programs and services on this list are essential to our district and no one wants to imagine a district without them. At the same time, we are required to operate in the black and we have to be open and honest with our staff and taxpayers as we prepare for the worst-case scenario.”
If the 8.70-mill, five-year renewal operating issue passes, residents will have a zero tax increase. The issue represents 18 percent of the district’s operating budget and will result in an $18.5 million annual loss of revenue if the issue fails. If the issue passes, the district will continue to maintain its current level of operations with no increase in taxes to residents.
“We are always looking for cost-savings to minimize our expenses and maximize our impact in the classroom,” added Otten. “The District has implemented significant reductions that are estimated to save more than $12 million over the next three years; but they do not come close to covering the loss we will see if we lose 18 percent of our budget. This is as far as we can stretch our budget without alerting the student experience entirely.”
The proposed $8.5 million in cuts include: 117 teaching, staff and administrative positions, 17 bus drivers, $373,000 in reductions to programs and services and nearly a $1 million in reductions to extracurricular activities.
Students and families in the district will see these programs and services change:
- Elementary students will no longer be offered art, music and physical education, the instructional day will be shortened, and all-day kindergarten will move to half-day kindergarten;
- Middle school students will not be offered honors or scholarship courses, have decreased elective options, be required to take study hall and the instructional day will be shortened;
- High school students will no longer be offered honors, scholarship or AP courses, have decreased elective options and be required to take a study hall;
- Transportation will no longer be offered to high school students or any K-8 student within a two-mile drive distance of their school;
- Pay-to-participate fees will be required for any student K-12 participating in a club, activity or sport, fees will range from $50-600;
- Field trips, professional development and other contracted services such as student services, security and police support will also be reduced or either fully eliminated; and,
- Preschool tuition will increase.
“As a former teacher, I know just how difficult it will be for our students and staff if these proposed cuts become a reality,” said Jo Ann Rigano, Beavercreek City Schools Board of Education president. “We will continue to do all we can as a board to steward the resources our taxpayers approve and serve our students the best we can with those resources.”
If the May ballot issue does not pass, the funding will expire at the end of 2021 and the district will have to enact the proposed cuts for the upcoming 2021-22 school year, drastically decreasing the level of educational programming and services.
The school district was on the ballot in November 2020 and spring 2020 for a substitute emergency levy that would have made the soon-to-expire levy permanent. Both of those issues did not pass. Subsequently, the board decided to go forward in May 2021 with a straight renewal of the levy, expiring after 5-years.
More information about the district’s five-year renewal operating levy on the May 4, 2021 ballot can be found on the Beavercreek City Schools’ website, https://www.gocreek.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=1669785&type=d&pREC_ID=1820224, along with a comprehensive overview of the approved elimination and reduction plan.