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Spending cuts projected for Quaker Valley budget

| Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, 10:13 p.m.

Quaker Valley's superintendent warns of possible wage freezes, job cuts and budget downsizing for the 2012-13 school year.

“(The administrators') agreement is expired, so we've been talking with them for six months. We don't have it finalized yet, but the administrators have already agreed — in principle — that there will be a wage freeze for them for ‘13-14,” Superintendent Joseph Clapper told board members and a small group of community members at last week's regular monthly school board meeting.

In a contract agreement earlier this year, the district's clerical union took a first-year wage freeze.

In 2011, the district's teachers union received a 3.77-percent per year increase in a four-year contract that included higher teacher contributions for health care.

School board members last week approved, 8-0, a resolution that limits any 2013-14 tax increase to within the inflationary index set by the state Department of Education. Board member Danielle Burnette was not present.

The index for 2013-14 is 1.7 percent, which would allow Quaker Valley a potential increase of up to 0.36125 mills. The district's current millage rate is 21.25 mills.

Clapper said his work to create a “fiscally responsible” budget by June 30 also means the district would be “living within our means.”

The increased costs of pension funding and other factors such as gas and health care, coupled with decreases in state and federal funding — which, combined, make up 16 percent of the district's roughly $41 million budget — makes getting to a balanced budget difficult, Clapper said.

Spending across the district is expected to decrease, and some jobs could be on the line, Clapper said.

“Are there other positions that we could move from full-time to part-time or not have a position at all?” Clapper said. “We'll scrutinize those closely.”

Since 2007, Quaker Valley has eliminated 33 part-time and full-time positions, Clapper said.

Since board members eliminated in-house busing, the district has saved $1.1 million, Clapper said.

Bobby Cherry is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or rcherry@tribweb.com.

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