According to Dr. Virginia Rammel, Superintendent of Milton-Union Schools, the proposed staff cuts were approved at the School Board Meeting held Monday, April 19th. To see the complete listing of staff positions being cut, please visit our previous article at http://miltonnewsdaily.com/schools/m-u-board-of-education-meeting-monday-april-19-at-630pm/.
There was a lot of discussion from the parents of Multi-Handicapped (MH) students. They are concerned with one of the cost-saving measures which was to transfer the MH units to the Miami County Educational Service Center. The parents are worried that their children may not get the same level of service or care that they receive now. Dr. Rammel has stated “We are continuing to work with their union & the ESC to come to a solution”.
The following financial information was presented to the Board and community members present by Dr. Rammel and Chuck Klein, Treasurer of Milton-Union Schools:
Over the past two years, the financial picture for all of Ohio schools has been exasperating at best! Schools must always be vigilant on monetary policy and be fiscally conservative in their approach to operations; Milton-Union is no different. It is important to understand from the outset that current operating costs have nothing to do with our new building; we cannot mix bond money and the general fund money for general operating expenses. These current operational reductions are directly due to state funding cuts over the past several months.
M-U Schools are supported by federal, state & local dollars
- Federal – 6.5%
- Local – 41.8 %
- State – 51.7 %
Local support – comes from 3 levies (all 3 levies on a 5 yr. cycle)
- 2 renewable operating levies – 17mil & 10.9mil – this money is used for …
- Salaries and benefits (80%)
- Utilities – water/sewer, gas, electric
- Materials and supplies
- Permanent Improvement (3.9mil) – cannot be used for salaries and benefits but funds:
- replacement cycle of equipment
- Buses ($100K/each year), every 2-3 yrs., replacement of 2 buses –($200K) 23 buses in fleet including spares
- Vans ($20K per unit)
- Tractors, maintenance equipment, trucks & snow equipment
- replace about 100 computers plus servers & network equipment per year – 500 computers on a 5-yr. cycle ($100K annually)
- software updates & improvements ($40K)
- emergency repairs/fixes including athletic areas, etc.
State support – early speculation is that state funding for the next biennium (fiscal yrs. ‘12 & ‘13) is projected to decrease at least 10-15%! We must aggressively stay ahead of funding reductions from the state.
Many factors have contributed to our economic problems.
- While we all would like to be shielded from the outside world, the economy is and will continue to affect all of us!
- Every Ohio school district, every business (large and small), every household regardless of income level is being impacted
- The type & availability of jobs has changed along with the education and training you have to have to get these jobs
- The Treasurer has been told by the Educational Purchasing Council to expect up to a 15% increase in our health insurance premiums for the ‘10-‘11 school year
- For the current biennium (fiscal yrs. ‘10 & ‘11), we used the maximum amount of federal stimulus money allowed to offset the general fund
- Our district enrollment has decreased 12% over the last 10 years while personnel decreased 2% – for each child our enrollment declines we lose approximately $5,600 in state funds
- The present cuts have nothing to do with the new building costs or its operation
- Our earned income tax (1.25%) is divided two ways: 1.10% of the money is for the actual building of the new school and the remaining portion (0.15%) must be used for general operating costs like water, gas and electric.
- If we had done nothing, we would have been in deficit spending in the ‘10-‘11 school year by approximately $770,000
In regards to the approved staff cuts, Dr. Rammel has stated in the letter to the community, “No one likes cuts. Not the BOE, not the administrators, no one.” The Board of Education and the Administrative team wants the staff, parents, students and community to know they have not taken this responsibility lightly. They have looked exhaustively at each position, each operational area and every revenue source and creative spending concept available. They used data from other schools in the county and districts similar to Milton-Union in demographics and each area has been affected: administrative, athletic, certificated, and classified.
Community input is always welcome. If you have concerns or questions, please call the Central Office at 937-884-7910.