Parma City Schools announce ‘difficult decisions’ in light of budget crisis

PARMA, OH - Parma City School leaders are being forced to make difficult decisions that they say will "negatively impact" the entire district including closing school buildings. And they announced them Monday night.

Photo: Suzanne Stratford, WJW

Photo: Suzanne Stratford, WJW

How the district got into the situation is unclear.Some board members pointed to the previous administration and state auditor's office, but the "who" will take time to figure out and they are under tight deadline.

Superintendent Carl Hilling says they thought they had a surplus, but learned in May they were actually facing a budget crisis and  that apparently "expenditures outpaced revenue from 2014-2016."

Now, in order to balance the budget, they need $7 million in cuts for fiscal year 2017 and another $8 million for fiscal year 2018.

They must have a financial plan in place to present to the Ohio Department of Education by October 17, 2016.

The Ohio Department of Education has placed district under "fiscal caution" status and these changes are said to be necessary to keep state from coming in and taking over.

Schools' business manager Rusty Kruse became visibly upset while reading the proposed cuts at a meeting Monday night. The cuts include eliminating over 50 jobs in nearly every department.

Proposed building changes include reducing to one high school, located at the Parma City High School building. They also call for two junior highs, inside the current Valley Forge  and Normandy High Schools.

They are also proposing that there be only 8 elementary schools in the district.

 To read the full list of the proposed cuts, click here.