NORTHFIELD, OH – (March 18, 2019) – The two associations representing Nordonia Hills City School District employees have agreed to a base salary freeze for the 2019-2020 school year, regardless of the outcome of the operating levy on the May 7 ballot.
The Board of Education unanimously approved the agreements at its March 18 board meeting. Superintendent Dr. Joe Clark announced in January that district administrators also would have base salaries frozen for 2019-2020 regardless of the levy outcome. This marks the fourth time in nine years that all Nordonia employees have had their base salaries frozen. Base salaries were frozen in the 20102011, 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 school years.
“We have the most child focused, dedicated staff I’ve ever worked with,” Clark said. “They understand that the district is facing a looming deficit and are willing to forego a base salary increase to help keep available as many programs and opportunities for our kids as possible.”
The Nordonia Hills Educators Association (NHEA) represents the district’s 250 certified employees, which includes classroom teachers, counselors, psychologists, speech and language pathologists and the district librarian. Nate Loman, President of NHEA, said, “The teachers of this district recognize the importance of the district remaining one of the best in Summit County. We are proud to be a part of the Nordonia Family and are willing to do our part to ensure that reputation continues.”
The Ohio Association of Public School Employees (OAPSE) Local 246 represents the district’s 204 classified employees, which includes administrative assistants, bookkeepers, food service workers, maintenance and custodial staff, student supervisors and classroom aides/paraprofessionals. Amanda Coon, member of the OAPSE Negotiations Committee, said, “As proud members of the Nordonia Schools family, we are and will always remain committed to the education of the students at Nordonia. We feel that the positions our members hold are extremely important to the students we serve each and every day. We are proud to do our part to keep Nordonia recognized as a highly performing and competitive district, while keeping costs as low as possible, to benefit both our students and our communities.”
The district has a 6.98 mill operating levy on the May 7 ballot. According to award-winning Treasurer/CFO Karen Obratil, the continuing operating levy will raise just over $7 million dollars annually, with collection beginning in January, 2020.
To reduce spending, the Board also unanimously approved at its March 18 meeting reductions that will save a projected $1.6 million in FY20. The reductions will eliminate 38 jobs district wide, representing about 8% of the district’s staff, and will become effective at the start of the 2019-20 school year. Nearly half of the district’s employees live in the community.
However, if the May 7 levy passes, busing will stay as it currently is, available for all students in grades K12 living one mile or more from school. The reduction of one ELL teacher (formerly English as a Second Language) will be permanent due to decreasing enrollment with that student population. All other reductions will be analyzed over the summer and restored as deemed appropriate and necessary.
Nordonia currently has one of the lowest tax rates in Summit County while student performance remains near the top.
Dr. Joe Clark