She explained to the board that the district’s required five-year forecast shows 2015 with a $1.1 million deficit.
“We are eating up our carryover,” she said. “I wish we would have passed that levy.”
Of even bigger concern was state funding. The state continues to take funds away from some school districts, expecting residents to pick up the tab, according to Superintendent Dante Zambrini.
“We are considered a high-wealth, high-income community,” Zambrini said.
He explained that school districts are categorized by the state in one of seven levels. Category one is the lowest level for the poorest communities, which get the most state funding. Category seven is the highest district for Ohio’s wealthiest communities. This category is having funds cut drastically. Canfield is in category six, which means the state considers it high income, high wealth, and according to Zambrini, the state expects the people to pick up the tab for school funding.
He continued by saying the state is causing further harm by allowing charter schools to dip into the community’s wallet. Zambrini said when a student attends Canfield Schools, the state pays $1,700 to the district. If that child lives in Canfield School District, but chooses a charter or online school, that school gets $5,700 taken from Canfield Schools. For every Canfield child in a charter school, the district loses $4,000.
“Just the $1,700 would be fair,” Zambrini said.
Kesner further added to the gloomy outlook by saying the district is taking an $83,000 loss do to a three percent drop in real estate collections. That fact, coupled with state funding reductions to Canfield, and slow interest on investments is causing the district to eat up the carry-over funds that help start the new school year. With the levy failure on Nov. 8, the district will not have any new funds next year.
“We will have to have work sessions after we review the five-year forecast,” Zambrini said. “We need to look at what needs to be done.”
Kesner informed the board that 2012 will have elections in March, June, and November. She said if the board wants to go back on the ballot in March, they will need to file by Dec. 7.
On a more positive note, business manager Rich Archer informed the board of the $125,000 maximum grant the district received to retrofit older buses with a new pre-warm-up system. The system is on a timer and uses a very small amount of diesel fuel to warm up the interior and the engine.
He said on very cold days, some drivers have had to come in an hour early just to get the bus warm enough for the kids. The new system will do that ahead of time and when the driver shows up, the bus will be warm before it is even started.
The grant funds picks up 100 percent of the tab and will provide the system for buses that are 2000 models or earlier.
After hearing about the system and the bidders, the board approved awarding the bid to W.W. Williams company, who bid $90,000. Archer said the business has done more than 200 retrofits in the area.
In other business:
• Field trips were approved for the middle school wrestling team to Twinsburg for a tournament on Feb. 3-4, 2012; the wrestling team to New Castle, Pa., to participate in the Skyhill Run on Nov. 19; CHS wrestling team to go to an Akron Firestone tournament on Jan. 20-21, 2012; the wrestling seniors to go to Dubois, Pa., Nov. 19-20 for a senior retreat; and the baseball team to travel to Myrtle Beach, S.C., April 6-14, 2012. All the trips' transportation and lodging expenses are covered by outside organizations.
• The board approved the following extracurricular positions: head boys basketball coach Todd Muckleroy; JV boys basketball coach Bob Tinkey; boys basketball volunteer John DiRenzo; Saturday boys basketball coordinator Todd Muckleroy; lead mentor Laura Kollat; mentor Kevin Hoopes; JV wrestling coach Derick Fletcher; freshman boys basketball coach Joe Carbon; middle school wrestling coach Steve DeMaiolo; head swim team coach Andrea Linnelli; and funded by the Boosters’ Clubs, Randy Langham for wrestling and Richard Barnes for hockey.
• The following donations were accepted by the board: $40 for the Canfield Players from John and Theresa Dellick; $400 from the Canfield Presbyterian Church for the CHS NHS Rescue Mission Fund; $83.79 from Anthony and Roseanne Peluso for Fourth of July candy; $75 from Seven Seventeen Credit Union for Canfield Local Schools; $25 from Kelly Farragher-Paras for the Kate Farragher Memorial Trust Fund; $184.51 from Canfield PTO for CHS English Festival books; $135.32 from Ohiopyle Prints Inc. for the CHS Principal’s Fund; and donating $25 each to the CHS Senior Class Craft Show were: Patricia and Dimitrios Stratis, Daniel and Colette Frazzini, Kim Madej, Lawrence and Christine Beck, Ronald and Diane Yourstowsky, Diane and Joseph Tuchek, Thomas and Mary Jane Walker, Frank and Minerva Aprea, and Darlene Dalvin. Donating $50 each to the craft show were: Lisa Zetts, Anthony Mehle, and Kelly and Thomas Scurich.
Photo special to the Town Crier
Town Crier Community Editor J.T. Whitehouse was honored at the Nov. 16 Canfield Board of Education meeting by being named to the Ohio School Board Association’s 2011 Media Honor Roll for fair, accurate and balanced reporting. Presenting him with the certificate and board resolution is board President Brian Kesner and Superintendent Dante Zambrini.