The Mansfield City Schools Board of Education approved an Employee Severance Plan (ESP) on Tuesday night as a proactive cost-saving step to help avoid steep cuts in educational programs and potential layoffs.
The district projects that approximately 40 employees who are at or near the top of the pay scale will voluntarily accept the ESP, reducing the number of high-salaried staff while maintaining the highest possible educational standards. Overall, the district expects that the plan will help to save millions of dollars over the next several years.
An informational meeting for all eligible employees has been set for March 4.
Treasurer Robert Kuehnle noted that many other public school districts in Ohio have offered the unique severance incentive. “It is our responsibility to be good stewards of taxpayers’ money. This will help to reduce costs and avoid potential layoffs as staff who accept the ESP will voluntarily leave the district,” Kuehnle said.
Superintendent Brian Garverick said the ESP also will help to protect educational programs that encompass all students in preschool through 12th grade. “We cannot look only to layoffs as a means of controlling costs because the result would be program cuts and increases in class sizes,” Garverick said. “We value all of our employees but we must take appropriate steps to live within our means.”
Kuehnle emphasized that the voluntary severance program will do much to assure the district’s financial stability. “The ESP doesn’t solve everything but it certainly helps as we look to our fiscal posture in the years ahead,” he said. “It is this type of budget planning that will help mitigate cuts and reductions. We believe taxpayers, parents and our entire educational community support achievement of that goal.”
Source: Mansfield City Schools