Community Gathers to Discuss Budget Cuts

by Brittany Harris on March 4, 2011 at 10:51 am

A forum that was anticipated to have a mix of emotions, was surprisingly calm as Superintendent Terry Martin addressed the publics questions about Zanesville City School District’s proposed budget cuts.

"I’m really pleased in the manner in which they approached the problems that they have here and I think you’re seeing that all tonight too," said Robert Reed.

84-year-old Robert Reed was among many who attended the Zanesville City School District’s Meeting Thursday night. Last week, Superintendent Terry Martin announced that they are battling a deficit that’s expected to reach $6.2 million by 2013. The public was welcomed to ask questions and share concerns.

"I was very impressed with Mr. Martin you can tell he’s put a great deal of time, thought, and prayer into this," said Aleta Smidt.

Martin said the district will be restructured due to the budget cuts. Sixth graders will remain in their respective elementary schools. All seventh and eighth graders will attend Roosevelt Middle School, and the Zanesville Community School program will be moved to Grover Cleveland Middle School. 45 employees will also be laid off. He said those selections will be made based upon seniority and certifications.

"I think it will be an easy transition for the students, it may be more difficult for the parents who have been around for here a while," said Myra Warren.

"This is happening all over the country, Zanesville is not in a unique position, the same thing is happening in many many other communities and they’re having to deal with problems they’ve never dealt with before," said Reed.

The superintendent said the struggling economy and decreasing population in Zanesville is playing a major role in how the schools operate. He said they are continuing to look at ways to recruit more families to the area.

"The schools part, we’ve done a lot on working to have beautiful schools that I think are certainly inviting to the outsider to want to come in to," said Martin.

All changes will be implemented beginning next school year.