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Howland board cuts 14 coach, adviser spots

Move to save district $40,700

HOWLAND — Howland Local Schools is cutting back on more than a dozen paid coaching and club advisory positions to bridge a gap caused by cuts in state funding.

The district bore the brunt of $4,179,800 in cuts in state funding to K-12 education in Trumbull County — losing more than $601,000 when the reductions took effect in early May.

The changes in state funding for schools came as an attempt to balance the state budget after the COVID-19 pandemic led to a significant decline in revenue.

In order to recoup some of those funds, the board of education voted Tuesday — the last day of the fiscal year — to reduce 14 supplemental assistant coaching and advisory positions in the 2020-2021 school year, for a savings of about $40,700.

“We have to do our due diligence to stay ahead of it,” Superintendent Kevin Spicer said. “We made sure that we did not impact the kids in any capacity, and many of our individuals that had these roles have stepped up to either volunteer or divide those salaries.”

In the case of boys basketball, the varsity coaching salary was split between the varsity coach, who will get $5,744, and the assistant coach, who will get $4,500, in order to keep the assistant position.

Two people already have volunteered to head the high school English festival, and a volunteer is likely for the position of percussion instructor, Spicher said.

Other positions cut were the assistant activities director — a $7,401 savings; strength and conditioning coach; one assistant varsity football coach; assistant cheerleading coach; assistant varsity girls basketball; three language club advisers; middle school language club adviser; middle school math club adviser; and middle school multimedia adviser.

The board also approved issuing more than 115 contracts for coaching and advisory positions for various sports and activities.

Spicher said when making reductions, the district tried to consider enrollment in those activities and weighed whether those areas still needed advisers.

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