As shortfalls began to loom on the horizon, the Board and Administration began to take preemptive corrective action to balance the budget. In the Spring of 2020, 20.75 positions were reduced and departments were tasked with immediately reducing expenditures. While these reductions were deemed sufficient at the time, the District was soon faced with additional revenue reductions from the State of Ohio during the COVID-19 pandemic. These cuts reduced $900,000 over the course of FY20 and FY21. Along with sharply rising health care costs, the COVID-19 reductions pushed the District into an accelerated fiscal situation.
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. This levy would have generated $3,000,000 annually starting in FY 21 to offset the budget shortfalls and build a cash reserve. Both times, the issue was defeated.
With the defeat of the new operating request, Springfield Local Board of Education will implement immediate cost reductions for the 2020-2021 school year by reducing 9.25 classified positions. These reductions will eliminate library staff district wide and close the buildings to after school activities. Along with these staffing reductions, Junior High sports will be eliminated and a $300 per athlete pay to play fee will be implemented.
Along with the closure of Young Elementary school, an additional 46 staff reductions are planned for the 2021-2022 school year. These staff reductions will severely reduce or eliminate art, music, foreign language, career technical, computer, family & consumer science and physical education classes across the district. Other advanced class options will no longer be available for Springfield Students. These reductions will essentially eliminate all but the bare minimum offerings within our district.
The measures outlined in this plan 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.