Franklin to cut staff and teachers next school year; proposes additional cuts if May levy fails

Franklin City Schools have announced budget cuts for the start of the 2023-2024 school year as well as a second set of proposed cuts if a substitute school levy is rejected by voters in May.

This week, the Franklin Board of Education approved a “precaution workbook” which is required by the Ohio Department of Education to prepare a list of planned budget cuts if there is a deficit projected within in three years of the current year, district Treasurer Kevin Hawley said.

Superintendent Michael Sander said the first round of cuts totaling $1.1 million will begin at the start of the 2023-2024 school year in August regardless on the outcome of the May school levy.

Those cuts include: Reduction of two custodial positions; two health aide positions; one bus route; one media (library) aide; absorb the gifted coordinator position; reduction of seven certified teaching positions; and cancelling the contract with Warren County Educational Services Center for Tier III aides at the high school.

Sander said another $1.9 million will be cut from the budget if the levy does not pass on May 2 and includes: Two media (library) aides; one technical support position; reduction of four kitchen positions; 10 additional certified teaching positions; reduction of busing to state minimum standards for elementary and junior high students within a two-mile radius of their school; eliminate high school busing; all club fees go to $15; increase pay to participate fees to $300 per high school sport and $200 per junior high sport and eliminate the family cap; eliminate school newsletter; eliminate part-time public relations support; and eliminate equipment expenses, including 1 to 1 Chromebooks.

ExploreFranklin schools assess next steps after voters reject tax levy

The district’s five-year forecast was reported after voters rejected a substitute, five-year 13.39-mill operating levy by a margin of 55% to 45% last November. The Franklin school board reviewed its five-year forecast that was forwarded to ODE.

ExploreCarlisle, Franklin school boards approve placing levies on May ballot

Substitute levies do not raise tax rates on existing taxpayers, but allow the district to see revenue growth in future years, as the levy’s tax rates are applied to any new construction. Had the levy passed last November, it would have generated about $7.75 million a year for the district. The cost of the levy would have been $465.91 per $100,000 in property value.

The school board has again approved placing a five-year, 13.92-mill substitute levy on the May 2 ballot. If voters approve, the levy will generate $7.75 million a year and will cost a property owner $488 per $100,000 of property valuation, according to the county auditor’s office.

The Franklin district has already made cuts but further budget constraints and cuts can have a significant impact on this, Sander said.

ExploreFranklin Schools face need for levy as funds dwindle, treasurer says

Hawley said the district is projecting a positive cash flow through fiscal year 2024, which is through June 30 of that year. However, if the renewal levy is not approved by voters in 2023, Hawley said the district would see a negative balance by the end of fiscal year 2025, and could lose nearly 21% of its revenues by the end of fiscal year 2027.

About the Author