The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

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February 28, 2013

Governor’s budget prompts cuts in staff at Ashtabula Area City Schools

ASHTABULA — Ashtabula Area City School officials who have cut staff and programs in the wake of state funding reductions and failed levies in recent years say Gov. John Kasich’s school funding plan won’t help their district get through the next two years.

Consequently, Superin-tendent Patrick Colucci says he’s taking a proactive approach with the reorganization of the district’s central administration offices, resulting in the reduction of one full-time office administrator and cutting the hours of two additional employees — a secretary and a data coordinator.

“This reorganization streamlines roles and responsibilities,” Colucci said. “With these reductions, the district will save approximately $113,000 annually.”

Colucci said he and his staff will continue to look at all areas for opportunities to increase effective and efficient operations.

“With the ‘excellent’ rating of three schools and the continuous improvement of the district, our goal is to ensure a bright and positive future for our students,” he said.

Only two school districts in Ashtabula County — Buckeye and Grand Valley — will see extra money in the next two fiscal years, according to simulations prepared for districts by the Ohio Department of Education.

Pymatuning Valley will receive a little extra money in fiscal year 2015.

All the remaining school districts, including Ashta-bula, will see no change in funding in 2014 and 2015. That means no further funding cuts, but no increases.

John Rubesich, superintendent of the Ashtabula County Educational Service Center, said the news was disappointing.

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