Changes Behind the Scenes Could Save Twinsburg Schools $370K
The district could save money by revising operational expenses such as reducing paper costs
Officials from the Twinsburg City School District said they might do everything from cutting back on paper usage to charging more for room rentals if they are to help close a $6 million gap in the district's budget.
Superintendent Kathryn Powers, along with the administration and school board, put together a list of possible budget reductions and cost saving measures that could save the district $6 million for the 2012-13 school year. She emphasized that these are just possibilities at this time and that nothing is concrete.
Powers said the district could save approximately $370,000 by reducing costs for the “behind-the-scenes, nuts and bolts, non-personnel, non-programs for kids” area.
One of the easiest ways the district can save fast cash is by cutting down its paper usage.
“Hands down people are saying we’re using too much paper,” Powers said.
Powers said by increasing the use of technology and consolidating how it uses paper, the district could save $45,000. This could mean putting newsletters on the website or using one paper copy of information for families with multiple children.
How the cafeteria is run could be revised as well.
“Our cafeterias run in the black and Mark Bindas does an excellent job with his staff, making sure the kids are well fed everyday,” Powers said. “But is there something he can provide for us as far as upkeep maintenance to the facilities that the dollars would go into the general operating fund?”
The district would work with Bindas, the food service manager, to see what options might keep the cafeteria functioning well and making money.
Another area they may look at could be the revision of rental fees. The district rents out its buildings to outside organizations such as dance studios and homeowners associations. They could raise the rental fee to be more competitive. The fee was last raised in 2008, Powers said.
Minor changes could also be seen in programs like Latchkey and in the preschool. The Latchkey program, which watches children before and after school, costs families around $70 a week since, the last changes in 2003. It is currently used in the three elementary schools (Bissell, Wilcox, and Dodge) and all money raised goes into the fund set aside for it. Powers said the program itself could be charged a rental fee.
“What we’re suggesting is to charge back the program for the use of square-footage because when we have the Latchkey program in the gym, an outside program can’t come in and use it,” Powers said. “So we may not have that revenue stream because we’re using it for our own program.”
In the district’s preschool system, the bulk of students are special needs students, who don’t pay tuition. The other students are “peer models”, regularly developing children, who’s families pay $1,000 a year to go to the preschool, located inside Wilcox.
“We’re suggesting that we would increase the tuition for the “peer models” that would be more competitive with other preschools in the area,” Powers said.
The district will also look at charging a usage fee for outside organizations, such as the city, who use the buses and consolidating Saturday detentions into the same building.
Powers said this list isn’t exhaustive and is open to new ideas from the community during the open forum on Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. in the R.B Chamberin Middle School auditorium.