Youngstown schools must make $2 million in cuts

Youngstown City Schools Superintendent Connie Hathorn_32050

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – The Youngstown City School District has to make $2 million in budget cuts for the upcoming 2015-16 school year.

The district has a $100 million budget, but cuts are needed by July 1 because the number of students enrolled in the district has decreased. Youngstown Schools Superintendent Dr. Connie Hathorn said there are no specifics right now of where the cuts will be made.

“Anything is subject to change. It has to be negotiated so whatever we can agree to, to save the money, that is what we will do,” Youngstown City Schools Treasurer James Reinhard said.

The district plans to cut $2 million each year for the next three years, saving a total of $6 million.

“It is a shrinking district so we have to look at it from that perspective. We are not big as we used to be. So whether it is facilities, or the number of people we employ, we have to make sure that we are in the right size. We try to right-size everything we do,” Reinhard said.

Hathorn said district officials are exploring many options to make sure the budget is balanced.

“The option of closing the schools, closing programs, personnel, everything is on the table. If we do close schools, it will affect kids. Anytime we move students from one building to another building, it will affect the movement of teachers and students. I’m not saying it will happen, but it is on the table,” Hathorn said.

The district’s treasurer said alternative health care options for employees will help save money.

“We have a very high cost in that area. There are many reasons for that. We have to get down to where we can get the most bang for our buck,” Reinhard said.

If an agreement can’t be made on $2 million worth of cuts, it will impact taxpayers.

“We will just have to come to the taxpayers earlier for a renewal levy, but that is what we don’t want to do,” Hathorn said.

School officials said they will go into more detail about where cuts can come from during an executive session in March.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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