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Cuts coming for Poland schools

March 8, 2012
By J.T. Whitehouse , Town Crier

The Poland Board of Education will face the task of cutting into the budget after voters said turned down a levy for the third time in Tuesday's election.

"It's a sign of our times," said Superintendent Dr. Robert Zorn. "Everything will be back on the table now."

He said Poland is not alone. Canfield tried three times and was turned down for a levy. Liberty tried five times and failed, Zorn said.

He said what was really saddening was a document he received from the Ohio Department of Education on Wednesday morning stating the Poland School District was tied for the top spot in Mahoning County for academics. He said the cuts that may have to be made could affect that rating.

"If we cut all-day kindergarten, our scores will likely go down," he said.

The next move for the Poland Board of Education is to come up with a plan to balance the budget. In Ohio, Zorn said school districts have to have a balanced budget each year. They have to work within the funds they have, which means cuts will have to be made for the coming school year. Zorn said everything is on the table from all-day kindergarten to busing, pay-to-play and open enrollment. The board will begin looking at all possible areas to trim beginning with the next board meeting at 6 p.m. March 19. The meeting will be held at the high school library.

He said there are still a lot of unknowns. The district has to come up with a five-year forecast. To do that requires estimating income and balancing expenses to match. The unknown is trying to figure that far out without knowing how much more the state is going to cut from Poland's budget.

"The students are the ones who will lose in the end," Dr. Zorn said.



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