Bellaire schools forecast approved

THE BELLAIRE Local School District Financial Planning and Supervision Commission approved a five-year forecast for the school district during its regular meeting Wednesday.

The forecast includes a contingency plan if the 12.9 emergency levy is not approved by voters during the November General Election. The levy is anticipated to generate $1.4 million a year for the district.

Both plans forecast the district operating with a positive balance by the fiscal year 2013.

If the levy is approved in November, the district will collect half of the levy amount for this year, about $700,000. The district is forecast to still be in a deficit in the fiscal year 2011 by $187,720 and $526,220 in 2012. For the 2013 fiscal year, the district is forecast to end the year in the black by $245,780.

But according to Superintendent Tony Scott, if the levy is not approved, the district will have to cut 14 more teachers if the district is to have a positive balance in 2013, leaving the district with what he called a “skeleton of a school district.”

The district cut about 20 teaching positions near the end of the 2009-2010 school year along with four administrative positions.

“I guess the point I would like to make is that with the 20 or so teachers we cut, with another 14 – there’s not much left,” Scott said. “We are going to have three sections of teachers where we’ve had four. In our fifth, sixth seventh and eighth grades there are going to be 30 some kids to a classroom.

“We were able to make the reductions to get the school year started and have a more than adequate program for our kids this year. If the levy doesn’t pass and we make these cuts and have to come up with more, then I’m not sure what our schools are going to look like.”

There was also some concern about what would happen if the state cut school funding in the future. The cuts were reflected in the five-year forecast.

According to Commission Member Richard Vannelle, there could be an additional 10 percent cut in education funding from the state, on top of almost $900,000 that have already been cut in the Bellaire Local School District.

“We knew there were going to be problems from the state, but when you actually put it in the forecast, $900,000, that’s 9 mills in Bellaire,” Scott said.

In other news, the board passed a resolution adopting the school district’s amended recovery plan. Also approved was a resolution approving purchase orders in excess of $5,000 and a resolution pertaining to an annual review of the district by the auditor of state at no cost to the district.

The commission also met in executive session to discuss personnel for about 30 minutes.

Absent from the meeting was Commission member Paul Marshall.

The next regular commission meeting is scheduled for Oct. 28 at 10:30 a.m. in the district’s central office.

Scholar may be reached at