In the Spring of 2020, as shortfalls began to loom on the horizon, the Board and Administration began to take preemptive corrective action to balance the budget. Revenue reductions coupled with rising health care costs pushed the district into an accelerated fiscal shortfall. In May 2020, 20.75 positions were reduced and departments were tasked with immediately reducing expenditures. At that time, SLACT and OAPSE Unions agreed to take base pay freezes.
While preparing for, and operating school in the midst of a pandemic, the district made two attempts, in August and November of 2020, to pass a new operating levy. Between these attempts, the District was placed in Fiscal Caution by the Ohio Department of Education. This levy would have generated $3,000,000 annually starting in FY21 to offset the budget shortfalls and build a cash reserve. Both
Hearing the community wanted a different approach to school funding, an attempt was made in May 2021 to pass a 0.75% income tax to collect approximately $2,700,000 beginning in January 2022. This issue was also rejected by voters.
Young Elementary school was closed during the summer of 2021, eliminating 18.75 staff positions across the district and restructuring our grade bands among the remaining buildings. Again, SLACT and OAPSE Unions agreed to take base pay freezes in light of the District’s financial situation.
While additional staff reductions were planned for the 2021-2022 school year, Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) fund dollars were utilized to temporarily delay the reductions in art, music, foreign language, career technical, computer, family & consumer science and physical education classes that were planned to be reduced without these funds.
The Auditor of State’s office placed Springfield Local in Fiscal Watch on September 14, 2021. In order to address the forecasted deficits, this Financial Recovery Plan was developed to outline the steps the district has taken, and will take to address the aforementioned deficiencies in the five-year forecast.
The measures outlined in this plan - which include the reduction of thirteen teaching staff, state minimum transportation services, and various support staff services - will be detrimental to the academic achievement of our students. The Board of Education is committed to maintaining fiscal solvency while working to provide a safe educational environment for our students.