June 29, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Cloverleaf teachers want cuts to be fair

WESTFIELD TWP. — The Cloverleaf teachers’ union president said Thursday the commission appointed to oversee the school district’s finances should consider cutting administrative positions.

Jim Dombroski, president of the Cloverleaf Education Association, told the five-member Financial Planning and Supervision Commission that Cloverleaf teachers have agreed to wage freezes four times in the past 10 years. He also said cuts in insurance have saved the district about $700,000.

Jim Dombroski, Cloverleaf Education Associationpresident, speaks Thursday at a meeting of the financial oversight commission for Cloverleaf Schools. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY KIERA MANION-FISCHER)

During the commission’s meeting Thursday night at Cloverleaf High School, Dombroski said past cuts have fallen disproportionately on teachers, buildings and programs, without corresponding cuts in administration.

“As a staff, we do not feel a shared sacrifice,” he said. “We feel beaten down.”

Following the meeting, Superintendent Daryl Kubilus said the school board will consider cuts at all levels. Earlier this week he said it is still too soon to talk about specific cuts.

In January, the state auditor declared Cloverleaf Schools in fiscal emergency, which will allow the district to borrow money from the state’s fiscal solvency fund to operate. Cloverleaf has an estimated $677,007 deficit for fiscal year 2012 and about a $2.9 million projected deficit for fiscal year 2013, according to the district’s five-year forecast.

A levy likely will go before voters in November, but the board has yet to work out specifics, Kubilus said.

“In my opinion, we’re not just going to be able to keep cutting to escape this crisis,” he said during the meeting.

In November, voters defeated a 6.5-mill emergency levy that would have brought in about $3 million a year for operating expenses. It would have cost the owner of a $100,000 home $204.75 a year for 10 years.

Paul Marshall, chairman of the commission, said the school board will need the commission’s approval before placing a levy on the ballot.

The commission, which met for the first time in February, has 120 days to develop a financial recovery plan for Cloverleaf. The deadline is June 6.

Contact Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfisher@medina-gazette.com.