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School Board OKs Cuts, Looks at Next Five Years

Treasurer: “The levy dollars we expected aren’t here. That’s why a new levy just has to happen.”

In one of his last acts as Lakewood’s treasurer, Rick Berdine laid out the school district’s updated five-year forecast to the on Monday night.

As expected, the school district's financial picture isn’t exactly pretty.

But it’s also not as bad as officials had anticipated .

After Berdine laid out the five-year plan, the school board OK’d from the budget.

Berdine said among the reasons for the shortfall are falling property values — which means fewer dollars the district can collect from levies.

State cuts — to the tune of $6.3 million — haven’t helped either.

“It’s nobody’s fault,” Berdine said. “The levy dollars we expected aren’t here. That’s why a new levy just has to happen.”

The calculations cannot, by law, include projections for future levies, he added.

“The successful passage of the 2013 levy is a critical next step to continuing the success of this five-year financial forecast.”

Cutting, closing

Monday’s meeting took place at , one of the three schools slated to close in an effort to save the district about $400,000.

The other two schools considered for closure are and elementary schools, however the decision to close a school won’t be made until August. 

The board approved additional cuts to the staff. There will be a total of 25 fewer staff positions heading into the next school year.

Five teachers will lose their jobs as part of the cuts.

The rest of the staffing cuts will be made through attrition.

“I am not going to tell you there wasn’t any pain in the cuts that were made,” Berdine said. “The muscle is still there. The cuts were made in a very responsible and professional manner.”

The reductions will save the district about $8.6 million over the next three years, officials have said.

Among the feedback from residents in a was the importance of smaller class size — something Berdine said wouldn’t be affected by the cuts and looming school closing.

Later in the meeting, the board accepted Berdine’s resignation after he accepted the earlier this month.

Jesse June 05, 2012 at 01:23 PM
There are 80 communities in Cuyahoga County and we are number 4 in residential taxation. 1) Shaker Heights 2) Cleveland Heights / parts of S. Euclid that can go to Heights Schools, 3) Parts of Cleveland that can use Shaker Schools 4) Lakewood. http://treasurer.cuyahogacounty.us/pdf_treasurer/en-US/taxesbydistrict/2011_ResidentialRates.pdf. Keep it up and all the good homeowners will be leaving, myself included.
Fed~Up June 05, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Agree Jesse ~ Maybe instead of closing schools, the city should take down some street lights, instead of putting up more. Really? do we really need a street light every third house? Do we need "traffic cameras" at every intersection? And, how about that $50,000 they want to put up "share the road" signs....This is not the Lakewood I grew up in....so many residents are fed up. I live near the old Drug Mart plaza where they are putting up the Quaker Steak...ugh....just what Lakewood needs another bar (and yes, it is a bar/restaurant with an outdoor patio to serve liquor), plus they have "motorcycle nights"...how fun for the residents who live around here. Lakewood has lost all of its charm, very sad. I have a new neighbor who has been here only one year, heard how "wonderful" Lakewood was, moved from out of state, and now is moving due to the "commotion" in this city.
Christine Studer June 06, 2012 at 06:32 PM
What this article fails to mention is the 15 Early Release Days scheduled for all grades next year. On these days all students will be released 50 minutes early, pretty much every other week. What a headache for parents and daycare providers! http://lakewoodcityschools.org/docs/2012-2013%20calendar%20early%20release.pdf
Steve June 06, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Not to mention that it is also 50 minutes X 15 that our kids lose in learning. Isn't that why we paeed the last levi, and the teachers and board fought hard saying they don't want to hurt the students. Boy, have I got a bridge to sell them. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. We won't be fooled again.
Steve June 06, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Sorry, Passed the kast levi.

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