LIMA — Lima schools will reduce $1 million dollars to compensate for last November's failed levy. Part of the savings will come from not hiring an assistant superintendent when Jill Ackerman moves to the superintendent spot.“Maybe down the road sometime I will step back and say I need a director of curriculum,” Ackerman said. “But I don't think it will ever be an assistant superintendent. I don't think the size of this district warrants a position like that.”Ackerman will step into the superintendent role when Karel Oxley retires June 30. The Lima school board began approving reductions Thursday, with a few others expected in the coming months. When all are approved, it will save the district $1 million and mean six people will be without jobs. A November levy request for new money failed by 100 votes. The school board has already said it will be back on the ballot next November. Specifics of the request have not been decided. The board has until Aug. 8 to file with the board of elections.“This (reductions) compensates for the fact that the levy did not pass in November,” Ackerman said. “It gets us through the 2012-13 school year, which is a clear indication of need. That is $1 million. You can't take out $1 million ever year.”The board reduced $3.8 million from its budget last year. Several board members said it is tough to continue making cuts.“They are heavy on our hearts,” C. Ann Miles said. “We have no choice as a district, we have to do it. We have to be fiscally sound and stay within our budget.”Not having an assistant superintendent will mean more work for others, Ackerman said.“That is the sign of the times in a lot of school districts,” she said. “There are less people, but the majority of the people who are still there have more responsibility. ... We need $1 million and we need to be able to make a sacrifice from that level.”The district will also go without an administrative assistant to the superintendent and school improvement systems facilitator. The assistant's duties will be spread throughout the district, Ackerman said. The school improvement facilitator handles district data and things like supplemental education services and school choice.Two physical education teachers will be laid off. Ackerman stressed that the district is not reducing the program or the amount of time pupils get in class. Instead, it is adjusting to enrollment. One physical education teacher will be at Lima West Middle School instead of two, and Lima North Middle School will have one full-time teacher and another that will travel between North and Unity Elementary School.Three teaching positions will be cut at Independence Elementary School, but because of retirements there are openings elsewhere for the teachers. A three-quarter time limited English proficient teacher is being reduced, with one teacher remaining. The Life Skills program will be cut at the middle school. The three teachers will be placed elsewhere. Pupils will continue to get portions of the program in social studies and health classes.One secretary in the career technical office will be cut, leaving one secretary. All secretaries now working 260 days will be reduced to 205 days. The only exception is the main receptionist at the high school. Also, a retiring special education teacher and a health promotions coordinator will not be replaced. The district is also not renewing the high school proficiency testing coordinator. Some other savings will come from others retiring and their positions not being filled. “I hope people are aware and appreciative of what we are trying to do,” Ackerman said. “We are trying to do things without impacting kids directly the best that we can.”You can comment on this story at www.limaohio.com.–
Tara Cutlip, 21 and pregnant with her second child, was shot and killed Saturday in her Bahama Drive home. Loved ones gather in front of Tara's home to remember her and speak out against domestic violence.