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February 14, 2011 - Robert "Bubba" Kapral
A series of meetings of great importance take place Wednesday at the Belmont County Courthouse. County Auditor Andy Sutak will oversee budget hearings for local school districts. This could be a day of reckoning for many school officials. I don't believe many, if any, Belmont County school districts are in super financial condition. Many, meanwhile, are battling to keep their heads above the continuous flow of red ink. Some districts are in obvious better shape than others. Bridgeport, for instance, passed a levy last year and is far from being in dire straits. The wild card in this scenario is how much Gov. John Kasich is going to cut state funding to public schools. Estimates range from 10-20 percent. Even the low end of that reduction range will create additional financial chaos for our local schools. That is the last thing our local school boards need to be burdened with. Unfortunately, it all points toward the eventuality that consolidation will change the landscape of Belmont County academia.
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