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School District finances moving in right direction

July 2, 2019
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

In 2012, Poland Local Schools had to make a tough decision to charge students who wanted to play a sport.

"It was set at $200 per sport for an athlete at the high school," said Superintendent David Janofa. "In my second year in Poland as superintendent] we were able to reduce it in half."

He said now is the appropriate time to eliminate it. He said it hasn't deterred a lot of students from playing. For those who could not afford the fee, community members stepped up and help cover them. For the 2019-20 school year, he said it was the right time to do away with the fees.

"The board [of education] has been talking about this for a couple years," Janofa said. "We knew the steps we were taking was leading us down the right path regarding our finances."

Closing North Elementary was the first big step. With Poland's student population on the decline, it was an obvious choice to help the district's financial situation.

"When we reduce space, we save money," Janofa said.

The budget now has funds to help in further savings. The board engaged Strollo Architects to do the analysis on making the move of the board offices to Dobbins in the next two years. That move will free up space to move the seventh and eighth grades to the high school. That move, according to Janofa, will allow those two grades to have a separate classroom area from the high school grades.

Another area the improved financial situation has helped can be seen in the bus fleet.

"We are buying a new school bus and two new vans this year," Janofa said. "Keeping that replacement cycle really cuts down on maintenance costs."

He said older buses can be a strain on any budget.

"We are not swimming in money," he said. "But we are moving in the right direction for the long term."



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