SIDNEY – Sidney City Schools, having made $3.2 million in cost reductions since 2019 through a district reconfiguration, staff reductions, and other cost saving measures, will be making additional cuts in staffing for the 2021-22 school year.
In a press release from the district, it was announced that upcoming staff reductions for the 2021-22 school year are part of a phased approach to control district expenses and curb deficit spending, and include:
• Elimination of the business manager position
• Salary for all administration will be frozen for a minimum of one year
• Change in instructional aide services
• Elimination of 17 teachers
• Elimination of one maintenance position
• Elimination of one secretarial position
In addition to the reductions, the district is looking to shift some programming costs to be paid with federal grant dollars, which will relieve the general fund even further.
These reductions and changes, as well as other options that still have to be negotiated, will cut an additional $2.1 million in expenses from the budget.
“These reductions are not easy,” said Bob Humble, Sidney City Schools superintendent. “This is our second big wave of reductions and it is hard to let go of some of our dedicated staff. However, we know we need to reduce our expenses to garner support from the community.”
The release states the district has stretched dollars as far as possible and made significant cuts without eroding educational quality, including staff reductions through the reconfiguration of the schools for the 2019-20 school year totaling $1.26 million in savings annually, and additional staff reductions for the 2020-21 totaling $1.95 million in savings annually.
The total reductions and changes for school years 2019-20, 2020-21 and the upcoming 2021-22 result in savings of more than $5 million in annual expenses.
“Ultimately, we’ve heard from the public that we need to cut our expenses before they’ll support a levy,” continued Humble. “Though the district is doing some real work to curb expenses, local funding is still necessary and the district will be asking the community to support an operating levy.”
The district is looking to ask voters to support an income tax levy instead of a property tax levy.
Should an income tax levy be approved by voters, none of the above reductions will be reinstated in the immediate future, said the release. The reductions are necessary to create a more stable financial footing for the district. Because a school district is not permitted to operate with a deficit, should an income tax levy fail, additional reductions must be made. Further reductions will severely affect student programs and class sizes, he said.
The district will be sharing more information about the income tax levy, which will be on the May 4, 2021, ballot in the weeks to come. To follow along, visit www.sidneyschoolslevy.org.
Any questions or concerns regarding Sidney City Schools can be directed to Bob Humble, superintendent, or Mike Watkins, treasurer, by phone at 937-497-2200 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.