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State Budget to Cut Lakewood Schools' Funding by $6.3 Million

However, since 2004, the district has cut or averted $12 million in expenditures and plans to cut millions more in the years ahead to absorb heavy state funding losses.

Now that Gov. John Kasich’s two-year, $112 billion operating budget is in effect, the will see $6.3 million in state funding losses over the next biennium. 

It isn’t exactly good news, but as treasurer Rick Berdine explained, it isn’t necessarily the worst news either as he and Superintendent Joe Madak had predicted and planned for the eight-figure drop off in their

To absorb the losses to state basic aid, the drying up of federal stimulus funds, and the elimination of tangible personal property tax reimbursements and utility funding, school officials cut 62 faculty and staff positions in 2010 through attrition and layoffs to avert $4 million in expenditures during this and next year, Berdine said. 

“We’re in as good a shape as we can be given the advanced planning done by the board and the Superintendent,” he said. “It certainly put us in a better situation if we had not been proactive. Obviously, we’d like to have that (state) revenue, but that’s not there so there’s a new reality and we’ll work with it. 

“We guessed well at what might happen, planned well with the reductions to mitigate the losses and we’ve set the district up in about as positive a position as we could. We know we can operate in the black for the next two years and we’re going to work on longer.” 

However, despite the loss absorptions, freezing step increases to teacher wages in 2012-13 and the cuts to school programs, operations and personnel, the district’s expenditures would still exceed its revenue by $10 million by 2015. 

Given that projection, it will mean more seven-figure reductions to personnel and operations over the next several years and increases the probability of putting a levy on the ballot come 2013.  

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