Youngstown School Board calls for financial accountability after - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Youngstown School Board calls for financial accountability after job cuts

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The Youngstown City School Board is calling for financial accountability from the district CEO after it was announced earlier this week that the district will cut 18 jobs.

"He got rid of again the lowest people on the salary scale, the people making the least amount of money," said board member Jackie Adair.

Reduction in force notifications were sent to 18 Youngstown City School District employees Monday.

Those affected will work through December, but the district will continue to cover their health insurance through June 30, according to a statement from the district.

“We wanted to hold off as long as we could to ensure this school year got off to a good start,” said school CEO Krish Mohip. “A lot of people said this was the smoothest start of a school district in recent memory. Unfortunately, reductions must be made. However, we are confident that the progress that has been made in the school district will continue and that's why we chose to do this now.”

Those affected are three attendance intervention specialists, three instructional framework specialists, five deans, two student encouragers, one administrative assistant, one utility administrator, and three social workers.

Reducing those positions, plus the retirement of three others, means a projected savings of $602,000 in fiscal year 2019. The projected savings will be higher the following year.

"He could have dismissed three of his staff members and saved the same amount," said Board President Brenda Kimble. "So all those high paid people who deal with whatever they deal with are still working. They have jobs and our children have less support." 

Mohip though said the cuts do not directly impact students or classroom size and aren't just about the money. Although, he sees cutting these jobs as financially smart since he feels the positions are no longer needed in the district.

"Last year, as we were building this transitional model, we needed more instructional coaches, we needed more deans, we needed more of the support," said Mohip. "I'm really proud of where our district is. Two years ago, I wouldn't be at the point to say we don't need these positions."

If there is an open position for which one of the affected employees qualifies, he or she will be restored to employment.

Mohip said the district is in "good shape" financially. He said, the district's five year forecast projects an $18 million dollar surplus in 2023. That projected surplus takes into account a levy that district leaders are considering placing before voters. If the levy is not placed on a ballot or is defeated, Mohip said the district will have about a $4 million surplus in 2023.

The move to place the levy on a ballot is in the hands of the school board. The school board has very limited power since House Bill 70, which placed the CEO in control of the district, was passed.

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