The Defiance City Board of Education met in executive session Monday evening to discuss matters of personnel. After getting word from the state of Ohio that schools could see at least a 10% reduction in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the board approved a resolution following executive session to make cuts for 2020-21.
The board also hired Bryn Lehman to replace his father, Kirk Lehman, as head boys basketball coach (see related story, Page B1).
In May, CFO/treasurer Cheryl Swisher presented the five-year fiscal forecast, in which she shared that through communication with the state, schools were expected to see a reduction of at least 10% in revenue due to the pandemic. In order to prepare for that expected dip, the board took action on Monday.
“We’re doing this proactively because it’s up to us to be good stewards of the public money entrusted to us, and so that we can live within our means,” stated superintendent Bob Morton. “How we’re doing this is through attrition, we’ve had people retire and we will not replace them at this time.
“That includes the position of student services director held by Todd Fruth, who has been a retire/rehire for the past several years,” continued Morton. “We will also be cutting funding to an autism classroom at Defiance College that serves two of our students, that we will now serve here.
“The teacher for that classroom will now assume a role here at the district, but the aide for that classroom will be cut,” added Morton. “We will also be moving a full-time gifted intervention specialist (Renee Long) to part-time. These moves are being made so that we don’t impact the classroom, where the action happens.”
The other two not returning include Chad Donsbach, teacher’s aide; and Lisa Phipps, intervention specialist.
“We’re still going to have to perform the duties that these people did, however, their duties will now be absorbed and taken on by others in the district,” said Morton. “It’s unfortunate, it truly is.”