CAMDEN — Preble Shawnee’s Board of Education voted to eliminate two teaching positions and make additional cuts if a tax levy fails in May.
The board voted 5-0 during its regular meeting on Thursday, March 11.
The board passed a resolution detailing the specific reductions for the 2021-22 school year if the May 4 Operating Levy is unsuccessful.
The specific reductions include a $400 per season athletic fee will be implemented for students in grades 7-12 ($1,600 family cap), busing to and from school for students in grades 9-12 will be eliminated and busing to and from school for students in grades K-8 residing within two miles of the school will also be eliminated
According to Superintendent Matt Bishop, the cuts are in addition to the $1.3 million in cuts the district has made since March 2020.
“Even with the reductions listed above, Preble Shawnee Schools will still operate in a deficit for the 2021-22 school year and beyond,” he stated. “The passage of the 5-Year .75 percent Income Tax on May 4 is critical to the operation of our school district. Without that revenue, the district will be forced to continue to reduce staffing and/or programming which will dramatically impact the education of our students.”
One of the teachers who was on the cut list asked board members to reconsider eliminating her position prior to the vote.
“I’m confused as to why there are two teacher positions that are being cut when there are other positions that do not directly affect students that could be cut one of which was already questioned by some board members,” Katie Rosales, the physical education teacher at Camden Elementary, said. “If we’re here for the students as we say we are I’m confused as to why we would be cutting positions that affect these students firsthand, especially physical education. It’s proven that students perform better in school when being exposed to physical activity and other specials.
“It also makes no sense to me that we would cut physical education at a time in society when it’s needed more than ever. Here at Preble Shawnee, we offer very little electives. And the ones we do offer related to health and PE may be affected by the loss of myself.
“I believe in this community and this school district, and I always have. I’m alumni of Preble Shawnee. I went to Camden Elementary and I believe in this community. In fact, this is my second time working at Preble Shawnee and being [let go] due to staff cuts. I left my previous job and took a $10,000 pay cut to come work my dream job came at Camden Primary. I feel very passionate about this position in this district and I’m asking that you reconsider the recommendation to riff my position.”
In other business
Preble Shawnee Student Representative Chad Doran informed the board a preliminary date for Prom has been set for May 22 and will be held at Wilderness Ridge Retreat Center in Camden.
“It’s going to be as much of a normal prom as we can have,” Doran told board members. “I think people are getting excited because we’re able to, in a way, return to normal. I think morale is up overall and it makes it a lot more fun.”
The board also recognized several athletes for their recent accomplishments.
The next meeting of the board will be April 8 at 6 p.m.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 or follow on Twitter @emowenjr