Despite recently having success in passage of school levies, Pickerington Schools is not immune to budget crunches.
At its Dec. 8 meeting, Pickerington School Board members approved $571,983 of budget cuts.
Treasurer Dan Griscom noted that the country is now officially in a recession, and the budget outlook for the state of Ohio is very bleak.
The district, he said, is not immune and is suffering from the economic slowdown.
The district’s five-year plan outlines potential problems for the district’s financial state, including loss of revenue from property taxes due to the nation’s housing slump, a lack of growth in student enrollment due to poor home sales, and expenditures increasing from fuel prices and rising insurance rates.
Griscom said, despite this, school officials will work to create the highest quality education at the leanest price they can.
Griscom said the cuts are in areas like supplies and materials, not personnel.
"These cuts will result in some very tight budgets across the district, across many of the departments, and in all our school buildings," he said. "It won’t be easy."
Board Member Lisa Reade asked what would be brought back if revenue were to increase in the future.
She said she was concerned about funding for technology, saying it looked like it was taking a pretty big hit and that the district is already behind in that area. The board approved a cut of $100,000 in the technology department – the largest departmental reduction.
Griscom said if the revenue increased, funding would depend on the priorities at that time. Other cuts included $55,000 in curriculum and $65,785 in communications.
Building budgets also were affected, with Central High School taking the largest hit with a cut of $30,912.