The Liberty Board of Education is enlisting residents for an advisory panel to provide ways to deal with the school district's projected $1.3-million deficit by the end of the 2012-13 school year.
Board President Joseph Nohra Jr. said the community support is needed to help provide ways to solve the district's financial crisis and reduce or eliminate the deficit.
''We want to hear what the residents want to see happen. Where do they want to see reductions made and what do they want to see happen to this district?'' he said.
The Board of Education has scheduled its next meeting for 5:30 p.m. Oct. 29 at the high school community room.
District Treasurer Jim Wilson said he will present the five-year financial forecast at that meeting. The district's current budget is $14 million.
The state placed the district in fiscal emergency in July 2011 and assigned a financial planning and supervision commission to keep tabs on its finances.
Last spring, the state commission reviewed the district's forecast, which indicated the district would be facing more than an $11 million deficit by 2016. Nohra said the forecast will be addressed next week.
The financial supervision commission has ordered the board to make budget cuts or the commission will take over and make the cuts. School officials and board members said there is not much left to cut without drastically affecting the students' education.
According to Wilson, the district cut $645,000 in the 2010-11 school year, $1.7 million in the 2011-12 school year and $50,000 in the 2012-13 school year.
In January, the board approved a $1.2-million deficit-reduction plan that eliminates 16 full-time jobs effective for fiscal year 2013.
Officials said the worst-case scenario would be dissolving the district if it can't function financially.
Nohra said open enrollment and school-choice programs have created huge financial losses in revenue for the district at about $1.7 million annually.
Superintendent Stan Watson said the citizen panel is a good way to get residents involved.
''We have reached the point where we do not have the options that other districts may have. With the residents being involved we can hear what they have to say and see if there are any avenues worth looking at,'' he said.
Anyone interested in sitting on a citizen advisory panel can drop off letters or mail them to the school district board offices at 4115 Shady Road, Youngstown, OH 44505.