Edison School District to resume high school busing

HAMMONDSVILLE – The passage of the Edison Local School District’s levy on May 6 will lead to high school bus service for students at the high school for the 2014-15 school year.

The levy’s passage was discussed during Thursday’s district board meeting. Busing will resume after the service was suspended two years ago due to budget limitations, according to Bill Beattie, district superintendent.

“(The board) adopted a resolution to reinstate busing for 2014-15 at the high school,” said Beattie. “This is for grades ninth through 12th.”

Beattie said busing for the high school would follow the usual routes before being suspended. However, he added many of the other cuts made because of the budget crunch are permanent.

“We cut $3 million from the budget over three years,” Beattie said. “These were all permanent cuts except for high school busing.”

According to district officials, the levy was needed because the district had lost substantial revenue in the past few years, including a loss of more than $2.1 million since 2011. Losses include $700,000 in property taxes garnered from FirstEnergy Corp.; a $470,000 loss due to changes in the way state tax is reimbursed to school districts; and a $949,813 loss in funds from federal stimulus funds.

The combination of levies and other income garnered will allow the district to stay in the black until 2019, Beattie said, adding the district is projecting a $900,000 deficit for that school year. Beattie added the financial picture could change by then.

“A lot could happen between now and five years from now,” he said. “If we watch our funds we hope to eliminate that deficit over the next five years. We’re still not really out of the woods yet long-term, despite passage of the levy.”

Beattie said those with concerns or questions about busing should call (740) 282-0065, extension 1112.

In other matters:

– Board members elected to stay in the Ohio High School Athletics Association for 2014-15.

“The cost for this is nothing,” said Beattie. “This just allows us to participate in sports at the high school.”

– The board entered into a shared services agreement with the Jefferson County Educational Service Center for a public relations person for the district to be shared among five neighboring school districts, Beattie said.

– The board contracted with Team Craft of Cleveland for roof repairs at Stanton Elementary School at a cost of $223,000. Beattie said the funds came from the capital improvement fund, and Team Craft submitted the lowest bid for the project.

The next regular board meeting will be at 7 p.m. on June 19 at Stanton Elementary School.