Budget outlook good for Bedford, still no decision on bond reque - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Budget outlook good for Bedford, still no decision on bond request

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For the first time since the 2011-12 school year, the Bedford district is ending the school year with money in the bank...about $41,000.  Leaders say the success didn't come without sacrifice, like closing Temperance Road elementary last June and district-wide employee concessions.

"What we received in 2011-12 is what propelled us into deficit," says board president, Michael Smith. "We lost $470 per pupil and we had already cut $12 million over the previous nine years so that just sent us over the edge."

In the community, the possibility of a bond is still on a lot of voters minds.  They rejected a $70 million request in May that would have paid for building upgrades, parking lot improvements and a new elementary school.  Leaders haven't decided if they'll ask again but plan to take up the issue at the next meeting in July.

"I think that I would vote for it, but it's frustrating that they keep coming to us," says Terry Armes who lives in Temperance.  "I think that we would have to vote for it because we have a lot of friends of ours who are teachers and in the administration."

"I would say yes because of the kids, yes definitely," says Dolly Fowler who lives in Bedford and is a parent to a recent graduate.

Bedford isn't out of the woods yet.  As they've done since 2006, the district will have to borrow millions to cover October's payroll because of a gap in state aid payments.  It's a policy leaders are working with legislators to change.

"We have to borrow money and it costs us to the tune of $180,000 to borrow $9 million to pay it back," Smith tells 13abc. "So that's $180,000 we can't put into classrooms because we just don't receive state aid payments so we can't make payroll."

School district leaders say a start in the black is the turning over of a new leaf for students and the community.

"I look forward to some good years in the future for Bedford," Smith says with confidence.

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