Editor’s note: In the May 4 election, registered voters who reside in the Sidney City Schools District will be asked to approve a 0.75% Earned Income Tax levy. In the weeks leading up to the election, the Sidney Daily News will be publishing a question each week — provided by the school district — about the tax levy.

SIDNEY — These are difficult times and many people have had to make sacrifices because of layoffs, furloughs, etc. What are the Sidney City Schools doing to cut costs?

The district has stretched dollars as far as possible and made significant cuts recently without eroding educational quality, including:

• 2019-20 staff reductions through the reconfiguration of the schools totaling $1.26 million in savings annually.

• 2020-21 staff reductions totaling $1.95 million in savings annually.

• 2021-22 staff reductions totaling $2.1 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 $5.3 million in annual expenses.

Additionally, the district has taken the following steps to lower expenses:

• Transitioning to a high deductible health plan only by calendar year 2022, saving the district premium costs each year.

• Contracting services as needed.

• Procuring cost-saving contracts for energy, buses, equipment, and supplies through the Southwest Ohio Educational Purchasing Council, a purchasing co-op with other school districts.

• Comparing prices from vendors to ensure we are taking advantage of the best prices.

• Completing as many maintenance projects as possible which improve energy efficiency for long-term operating savings; by replacing maintenance staff with skilled professionals in HVAC, plumbing, and electrical trades, the district has contracted less with outside service providers.

• Shifting some programming costs to be paid with federal grant dollars, thus relieving the general fund even further.