Franklin board continues preparations

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Franklin board continues preparations

Contingency plans continue to be made in the event Franklin voters reject a five-year, 7.92-mill emergency school operating levy request on May 6 primary ballot.

The Franklin Board of Education approved plans to reconfigure its elementary schools to a north/south grade configuration rather than have each of its five buildings house grades 1 through 6.

Superintendent Michael Sander said the new north configuration would have Schenck Elementary housing grades 1-3 and Pennyroyal Elementary would house grades 4-6.

He said the new south configuration would have Gerke Elementary house grades 1-2; Anthony Wayne Elementary would house grades 3-4; and Hunter Elementary housing grades 5-6.

“We want (voters) to have all of the information,” Sander said. “Every board member wants to keep the neighborhood schools. But as (board President) Chris Sizemore has said, ‘We want neighborhood schools, but we can only give what the community pays for.’”

Sander said more than 30 residents, teachers and staff attended the March 25 board meeting where plans were approved.

“There were no surprises,” he said. “They wanted to hear the details.”

In addition to reconfiguring the elementary schools, Sander said the district’s staff would be reduced by nine teachers. The district’s pay-to-play fees would be increased to $200 per sport, with a cap of $500 per student per year.

The board also approved cuts to the district’s summer school program if the levy fails.

Should the levy fail, Sander said the district would provide four-week interventional offerings three hours a day for grades Pre-K/kindergarten through third grade. He said the elementary offerings will start on July 7 at Anthony Wayne Elementary and would be in conjunction with the Franklin summer lunch program.

A levy failure would also mean the only high school interventional offerings would be a five-week NovaNet course that starts June 9 until it’s completed, or until July 11, as well as one-week Ohio Graduation Test intervention courses during the month of June in reading/writing, mathematics, social studies and science.

All other summer courses in physical education, government, financial literacy and speech, as well as make-up credit courses in English, algebra I, integrated science, would be cancelled.

If voters approve the 7.92-mill opearting levy in May, it would generate about $3.11 million annually. It would also avert a budget deficit starting in fiscal year 2016.

Voters rejected a continuing five-year 7.92-mill operating levy this past November.

“There are a lot of community members working to get this levy passed,” Sander said. “This group knows how important this for the students.”

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