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School levy behind them, Boardman still looks to downsize and save money

The Boardman School Board discussed the five-year plan on Thursday

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) - The future of Boardman Schools is now easier to plan. Two weeks ago, the district's levy narrowly passed by 2 percent. Now the board is making plans for the new money over the next five years.

That emergency levy passed by just 221 votes.

"That sounds close, but that is actually a pretty solid victory," Superintendent Tim Saxton said.

He said the school was worried they would need to cut longtime programs, calling it inevitable if the levy failed. Now, not only will those programs stay, but they're moving forward.

With Election Day behind them, the Boardman School Board is looking ahead. It discussed the five-year plan on Thursday night.

Before the levy passed, the board had two plans. If the levy didn't go through, 13 teaching positions, along with several other staff positions, would have been cut.

Since it did pass, the district will change plans. It will not fill positions when someone retires, but redistribute duties to other faculty.

"We will look to see if that position needs to be filled and that will be our main source of maintaining our costs," Treasurer Nicholas Ciarniello said.

There may need to be classes cut in the future as teachers or instructors leave.

"Those are options that we don't want to take away from kids, but we have a fiscal responsibility to our community, so there's a balance there," Saxton said.

That plan is expected to save the district more than $600,000 next year.

"It's downsizing, but that was always part of the original campaign. We said this is part of Plan A," Saxton said.

One of the major concerns for the school is state funding, which makes up about 30 percent of the schools' budget.

"For state funding, ours has been pretty flat or decreasing when you take all the parts together," Saxton said.

Also discussed was the district's three other renewal levies. They will be on ballots in the next five years -- two of them combining for 11.9 mills to be renewed in the same year.

The plan's draft will still need to be approved at the next board meeting, which is scheduled for May 23.


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