Major cuts loom for district

WOODSFIELD – The Switzerland of Ohio Local School board voted to enter into Phase III expenditure reductions during its recent meeting.

The three phases that the school board has been implementing since July 26 of 2012 is to save money.

“The state said the district has to live within its budget,” said Switzerland of Ohio Superintendent Larry Elliott. “(We) have to plan for the worst.”

The district was not given any new money from the state.

Phase II and III will go into effect at the beginning of next school year if the upcoming levy does not pass in May. Phase I began at the beginning of the 2012 – 2013 school year with some cuts including the elimination of one maintenance position, a central office support position and the principal position at Beallsville Elementary.

Phase II, which was also approved at the July 26 regular board meeting will result in the elimination all elementary physical education teaching positions, music teaching positions, home economics/consumer science positions and elementary/ high school shop positions.

Phase III is the board planning for the worst if the levy is not passed and the district cannot generate new money.

Phase III will include the closing of the River High School bus garage and eliminate one bus mechanic position and eliminate six ESC teaching aide positions.

The district will reorganize, including the elimination of 23 certified positions. Also in this phase, all athletic programs must be able to financially support themselves.

Justin Isaly, the newest board member that took Rob Caldwell’s position on the board, voted no to the passing of Phase III.

“(We) need to make bigger changes than what was proposed and I felt that with presenting these ideas to the public as to what we were going to do to help the board get this levy passed,” said Isaly.

“I don’t think the public thinks the board is serious because of past issues and things that have not been promised and done so I thought that we need to go to another level … and go deeper.”

The next board meeting will be held on March 21 at 6 p.m.

Van Dyne may be reached at