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05-17-05 Minster school board to cut staff positions

By Lance Mihm

  MINSTER -- Three teaching positions and a librarian will be cut at Minster Local Schools to offset a projected budget deficit.

  School board members meeting Monday night announced the cuts after a three-hour executive session.
  A seventh-grade teaching position will be cut, and that teacher will be moved to the high school to replace a retiring teacher. They also are cutting an elementary computer teaching position, the elementary Spanish teaching position to half-time and a librarian to half-time.
  Facing a projected deficit of $136,657 by the end of fiscal year 2006, board members voted unanimously to cut the staff, along with one bus driver and make various supplemental changes.
  Other cuts to be made, which were selected administratively and do not need board approval, include: limiting professional days, restructuring various student fees for classes, elimination of a bus route, limiting field trips to self-supportive costs only and reducing the number of students who will be administered the Stanford and Otis Lenon tests.  Superintendent Hal Belcher this morning said all cuts would save the district $192,813.  
  School board members also passed a resolution asking state legislators to not approve House Bill 66, legislation that would reduce personal tangible taxes. The resolution also asks that the elimination be fully replaced.
  Personal tangible and inventory taxes, which are taxes that businesses pay on equipment, are being phased out. This could cause a loss up to 39 percent of the school's total budget, Treasurer Laura Klosterman said.
  The field of candidates for the superintendent's position has been narrowed down to four people.
  They are: David E. Williamson, 7 Countryside Drive, Greenwich, superintendent at South Central Local Schools in Greenwich; Chad Hill, 279 Woodlawn Drive, Tipp City, principal at Dixie High School in New Lebanon; Larry Brown, 4015 state Route 269 South, Castalia, principal at Margaretta Local Schools; and Gayl Ray, 7843 Windy Hill Court, Dublin, principal at Mansfield City Schools.
  The four finalists will be given a second interview this week. School board members hope to employ someone in June and have the new superintendent on site by Aug. 1.


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