Mentor Schools Superintendent Talks about Staff Cuts at Board Meeting
Superintendent Jacqueline Hoynes lays out plan to compensate for double whammy of less revenue from property taxes and state funds
Mentor Schools, like most school districts in the state, face a double whammy to its budget.
The district already knows it will get $700,000 less in property taxes than expected as the result of dropping property values. Now it must brace for a cut in state funding.
The schools have already planned for a 14 percent drop in state funding but, as Superintendent Jacqueline Hoynes noted, "It could be more than that."
Furthermore, Mentor Schools is also dealing with a shrinking enrollment. It had more than 10,000 students 10 years ago, has slightly more 8,000 now and projects to have about 7,000 in another five years.
"When you're looking at decreasing enrollment, you have to look at decreasing staff, also," Hoynes said at the Board of Education meeting Tuesday.
Hoynes outlined a round of staff cuts that would help the district deal with both its funding cuts and shrinking student body.
Hoynes recommended cutting 19 teaching jobs, two positions at the central office and three more classified positions. This would be in addition to the 12 positions that will already be cut when Headlands Elementary closes at the end of this school year.
Hoynes said cutting the positions would save the district almost $3 million through the 2014-2015 school year.
If the district did not make any cuts and left Headlands Elementary open, it would have a $6 million deficit by the 2013-2014 school year, Hoynes said. With the cuts, that deficit would be $1.6 million.
In the past, Mentor Schools reduced staff by attrition. They did not replace retiring teachers and support staff. Hoynes said they will not be able to avoid layoffs this time. However, she did not know exactly how many layoffs would be necessary because she did not know how many positions could be cut by not replacing retirees.
When she asked the Board of Education if they had questions or concerns about the financial proposal, Board member Alan Mihok replied, "I guess we have concerns, but nothing we can control."
Headlands Elementary will be the third district school closed in the last seven years. Center Street Elementary and Reynolds Elementary closed in 2004 and 2005, respectively.