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Edison Local School District will receive less funding

July 21, 2008
By JULIE GHRIST (Special to The Review)
HAMMONDSVILLE — While officials in the Edison Local School District have saved money by exploring various avenues on their own in regards to transportation, they have also lost a lot of money which was once provided to them through the state and federal government. So now it is up to the administration to determine exactly what they should do in order to maintain their schools’ status of “effective,” while working with $275,000 fewer dollars from the state. During Wednesday’s board meeting, Assistant Superintendent George Ash briefed members on the decrease in funding given to the district by the state of Ohio. “The state has allocated $264,983 less for the 2008-09 school year,” Ash stated. “That is an overall reduction of 18.195 percent for seven grants we receive.” Ash explained this year’s special education fund has been reduced by $150,000; Title I funds have decreased by $82,441; and Title V funds have gone down by $4,400. In addition, Title IV funds which were used to budget for the district’s resource officer decreased by $6,923; early childhood special education money used for psychology and speech was reduced by $4,000; money for teacher’s salaries and benefits, along with professional development and inservice, was decreased by $102,896; and funds for technology professional development decreased by $3,650. Ash explained the district used its grant money well, which in turn, led four of its five schools to achieve the status of “effective,” according to unofficial results on the 2007-08 state report card. The Ohio Department of Education annually issues school districts a report card in August on which they are graded based on students’ performance in 30 state indicators, 18 being from the Ohio Achievement Test and 10 being from the Ohio Graduation Test. Attendance and graduation rate are included in the overall assessment. Edison High School, Springfield Middle School and John Gregg and Pleasant Hill elementary schools have all been rated “effective” by the ODE, reports showed. Stanton Elementary School received a rating of “continuous improvement.” So while grant money has led to the district to make budget changes, there are actually some savings which are being seen. Superintendent Lisa Carmichael expressed her appreciation to transportation director Danny Householder, who has worked on a new Transfinder Program purchased by the district in March. The software allows districts to manage their transportation department more effectively by means of managing bus routes, students and drivers; creating and reviewing any “what-if” scenarios; running reports and visualizing stops and routes. Householder noted during his report to the board the projected savings to the district will be $369,550 per year. These savings include $136,482 from drivers, $219,647 for fuel and $13,420 for tires. The future salary and fringe benefits savings is still unknown, he said. Board members approved a resolution Wednesday to lay off two bus drivers for the upcoming school year and have used the Transfinder Program to cut mileage,. “I never anticipated saving this much money,” Carmichael said. “I just want to give Householder the credit he deserves.” “Thank goodness we bought this program,” board member Karen Sue Taylor stated. She noted the board took two months to approve the purchase at $15,000, to which she said it was “well worth it to save more than $300,000.” Ash stated there are pros and cons to the new transportation schedule. The positive aspects include fifth- through eighth-grade pupils receiving an additional hour of instruction time, having time built into the day for professional learning, allowing students to get up later in the morning, allowing siblings to ride the bus together, having no student getting home in past 7 p.m. following after-school activities and the need of not having to close another school. The negative aspects of the rescheduling include kindergarten through fourth graders losing 15 minutes of instructional time and ninth- through 12th-grade students losing 28 minutes of instruction time, having a reduction in force and having kindergarten through eighth graders riding the bus together. Carmichael stated high school hours will be from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., with elementary and middle schools attending between 8:45 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. Householder said during fiscal year 2008, there were 28 bus drivers, and this year there will be 23; last year buses traveled 3,926 miles per day, and this year the miles traveled will be 2,384; and $13,420 will be saved on tires. Carmichael noted a schedule with the pick-up time and drop-off time for students will be sent to parents through the mail in August.


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