Brookfield schools asking voters for budget help - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Brookfield schools asking voters for budget help

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BROOKFIELD, Ohio - Already facing a $500,000 shortfall, a Trumbull County school district is once again asking voters for help or drastic cuts will have to be made.

Brookfield schools already cut that half million dollars from their budget with staff cuts across the board and the elimination of many student programs.

But now the economic situation has gotten worse since voters said no to a tax hike last fall.

The state just cut another $200,000 in funding last week.

So the board voted to put a 4.85 mill levy on the ballot in an effort to raise another $600,000 a year to restore previous cuts and to offset new state funding reductions.

Superintendent Tim Saxton says more cuts will be necessary if that levy fails. "The last thing we want to do is cut more staff that are so close to our students on a daily basis. So we're going to look at some other avenues to potentially save some money and move forward," Saxton said.

So the board is considering a number of possible cuts including; reducing kindergarten to half-day, eliminating busing and suspending all activities and clubs.

If the economic picture gets worse than originally thought, more drastic measures could be taken including; re-opening the teacher contracts, shortening the school day and even consolidating with other districts.

The school is at the point where they are literally looking at saving every nickel and dime.

"We've saved a lot of money from being in one building, a K-12 complex, in the last year. But there are always little things we can do better; just turning off the lights in classrooms and large spaces when they're not in use. So every little bit helps," Saxton said.

The superintendent doesn't expect their financial situation to get any better either. He says the governor is introducing a new school funding plan in the next week and he anticipates even more cuts with that.

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