MILLBURY - Preparing to go on the ballot with three tax issues over the next year, the Lake Board of Education slashed $340,000 from its budget, including the high school principal.
The board also approved a two-year agreement with the Lake Education Association, giving teachers no raises.
At Wednesday's meeting, the board voted 4-1 to suspend principal Marty Schloegl's contract on June 18, as it relates to reasons for a reduction in force. Other cuts include board member pay, elementary sports, custodial overtime for athletics and newspaper class. A decision to cut the school nurse's hours was tabled.
The board and administration said Schloegl, who joined the district in 2004 and has been principal five years, was eliminated strictly for financial reasons.
"It's pure and simple a financial decision," said Treasurer Jeff Carpenter after the meeting.
Schloegl is the top-paid principal at Lake, earning $85,233. His contract expires July 31, and there will be no severance pay, Carpenter said. Two administrators, Superintendent Jim Witt and Jodi Takats, who holds a variety of jobs including curriculum director, earn more than Schloegl. Witt makes $101,077 and Takats earns $90,000.
"It had nothing to do with performance," said board president Tim Krugh, who added that members focused on making cuts from the top down.
Schloegl could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Board member Nathan Eikost voted against Schloegl's contract suspension.
"I disagree 100 percent," he said. "This, to me, is clearly taking a step in the wrong direction."
The board could have eliminated two secretarial jobs or a physical education teacher, a position that was created within the last five years, Eikost said.
"There's so many different ways that we could save $80,000 and not hurt education," he said after the meeting.
|Tim Krugh speaks during the Lake Board meeting at Lake Middle School Wednesday night. (Photos: Andrew Weber/Sentinel-Tribune)
Board member Eric Hirzel said it was a difficult decision.
"Obviously these aren't easy cuts to make. These are people. These are their jobs," he said. "As tough as it is, it's just something we have to do at this time."
Witt said the high school leadership will be shared among current staff.
Carpenter said with Witt's office located on the main campus, he could handle parts of the job. Middle School principal Lee Herman is also expected to take on some responsibilities.
Krugh said the board, dealing with a reduction in all revenue sources, is faced with some tough decisions. A deficit looms in January 2012.
The board held three forums over the last few weeks, asking community members for direction.
"We have heard two things: We should probably go for the renewals this year," Krugh said, referring to a 1.4-mill permanent improvement levy and a 6.75-mill operating levy that both expire Dec. 31, 2011. "And the other was, you've got to look at some cuts and tighten your belt in the interim."
Even if the renewals are passed in November, the board said it will need to ask for new money in 2011.
Cuts approved by the board:
¥ Educational service center $110,000
¥ Building budgets $19,000
¥ High school pep club $1,734
¥ Varsity club $946
¥ Helping Hands $788
¥ Senior video $946
¥ Library club $788.00
¥ Class adviser 9 $946
¥ Class adviser 10 $946
¥ Class adviser 12 $946
¥ Department chairs 7-12 $5,515
¥ High school newspaper $1,891
¥ Middle school newspaper $1,891
¥ Custodial overtime (athletics) $2,600
¥ Summer baseball $2,995
¥ Summer softball $2,995
¥ Elementary coaching positions $4,730
¥ School nurse 1/2 time $20,000
¥ Administration $90,000
¥ Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments membership $166
¥ Pay phone in sports plaza $420
¥ GAAP report $7,900
¥ Professional organization dues $6,922
¥ Worker's compensation premiums $30,000
¥ Board member compensation $13,500
¥ Consulting services $3,000
¥ Legal fees $10,000
¥ Custodial supplies $18,000