School board reviews financial warning

STEUBENVILLE – The city school district’s top financial officials warned school board members Wednesday night that changes need to be made or they will face serious fiscal issues in 2016.

“Our revenue is not good news. The revenue remains steady but the expenditures and cost of doing business goes up every year. Our $1 million deficit spending is cutting into our reserves,” District Treasurer Lisa Bruzzese said during the monthly school board meeting.

“We have got to make some changes in order to cut our deficit spending. We are not able to increase our revenue so we have to cut expenditures. We have to plan for the future because we have lost the federal stimulus money. The Ohio Department of Education has told us to not expect any more money than we received last year and we are still waiting for the state budget to be finalized,” Bruzzese reported as part of the district’s five-year forecast.

“We do have a cash carryover and we are OK until 2016, then we are in trouble if we don’t start making cuts. The challenges we are facing are now. And this could get worse if our federal funding is reduced,” she added.

Superintendent Mike McVey said a levy is always an option in the future.

“We have contract negotiations next year. And we are going to continue to look at reductions through attrition as we go forward,” McVey said.

“We have always made plans and we have always looked to the future. That is a plus for us,” remarked board member Bill Hendricks.

In other matters, McVey announced the Ohio Department of Education named Wells Academy a “high performing School of Honor based on your 2011-2012 local report card.”

“What your school has done to serve students from all backgrounds is working, and I urge you to share your strategies with other Ohio schools. The department plans to spotlight your school as an outstanding example of what is possible when students, educators, parents and community members come together and believe that all students can succeed,” Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction Richard A. Ross wrote to Wells Academy Principal Joe Nocera.

The board accepted a series of resignations for retirement purposes including:

Stan Alex, a Harding Middle School fifth-grade teacher.

Robert Cornelius, athletic trainer, Steubenville High School.

Thomas Komisak, an East Garfield kindergarten teacher.

Diane Freeman, principal’s secretary at Steubenville High School.

Shawn Crosier, principal of Steubenville High School.

Crosier will seek re-employment with the school district following his May 31 retirement. The board has set a public meeting on his re-employment for the June 26 board meeting.

The board approved a supplemental contract for Melinda Young as the Educational Excellence Coordinator for the 2013-14 school year, as well as Zach Taylor as an instructor for the freshmen full summer band program for 2013.

Ronald Salvino was given board approval for supplemental printing as needed, and Mario Costantini, Rick Hicks and Lucas Huffman were approved as part-time summer worker supervisors.

Taylor Lyons was approved a lifeguard for the high school natatorium.

The high school Thespians group was granted approval for the annual field trip to New York City in March.

The board also approved a lengthy list of coaching supplemental contracts for the 2013-14 school year.

Approval was granted for a service agreement with Vestige to provide electronically stored information as well as:

A maintenance agreement with Hank’s Sale’s and Service Inc.

Annual software license renewal for EDGE Accounting software.

Adoption of the OME-RESA fee and service structure for the 2013-14 school year.

Authorization for membership in the Ohio High School Athletic Association for the next school year.

Approval of the revised athletic code of conduct policy.

Acceptance of McKinstry and Associates for student accident insurance for the next school year.