School inches closer to merger

BETTSVILLE – During their regular meeting Wednesday evening, the Bettsville Board of Education approved a resolution which supports a merger with Old Fort Local School District, but only if Bettsville’s debt is forgiven by the Ohio Department of Education.

Old Fort has approved a similar resolution. Despite both districts’ official support, a merger between the two schools hinges upon the forgiveness of Bettsville’s debt.

A special meeting is at 6 p.m. May 23 in Bettsville’s board room to announce plans regarding the merger. “Action will be taken” at the meeting, Board President Michelle Davis stated.

The board also discussed plans for moving forward if the merger falls through. The board announced it is to cut all of Bettsville’s athletic and academic extracurricular activities for the 2014-15 school year.

“There’s just not a lot of places we can cut,” Treasurer Jaime Pearson said.

Pearson also presented a five-year economic forecast for Bettsville. If the merger falls through, according to Pearson, Bettsville would be forced to borrow $400,000 per year from a solvency fund.

In other news, the board approved:

The minutes of the last meeting.

The renewal of contracts for two employees of Bettsville’s Migrant Image program for 2014.

The members of the graduating class of 2014.

The board’s next regular meeting is at 5:30 p.m. June 11.