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Proposed plan calls for major changes at nearly every Canton City school building

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Posted at 8:30 AM, Jan 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-28 21:31:09-05

CANTON, Ohio — Canton City Schools is the largest district in Stark County, and proposed changes would affect every student in the county, as first reported by News 5 media partner The Canton Repository.

On Wednesday, superintendent Jeff Talbert unveiled his “Design for Excellence” plan to address a drop in enrollment and higher spending.

Canton schools have seen student enrollment drop 33% but still operates 22 buildings and the superintendent feels now is the time to make changes.

"We're spending more money than we're bringing in. We just passed a levy. That levy is going to have us in the good for just one year and then we're back at it," Talbert said.

The district is evaluating how those buildings are being used and if any can be consolidated to improve transportation options for students.

Under the plan, grade levels would be moved around to limit class sizes and offer more activities while reducing the number of staff members needed.

The plan would reduce the number of teachers the district needs by at least 20. Talbert told News 5. 25 employees already have notified the district of their intention to retire or leave at the end of the school year. There are no plans for teacher layoffs.

"Saving money by exiting people out of the family cannot be your number one way to do things," Talbert said.

Fewer teachers would save the district an estimated $2.5 million. The plan also calls to turn an elementary school into a food distribution center for the district, which will run food trucks to students year-round and transform another elementary school into a virtually learning academy for K-5.

The proposed plan will likely be tweaked based on community feedback.

Community meetings for residents to hear the plan and ask questions will be held virtually from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Feb. 9, Feb. 11, Feb., 16 and Feb 18. More details, including the links to attend the meetings, will be announced on the district’s website at www.ccsdistrict.org at a later date.

Click here to read the presentation.

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