As of Monday, just 45 days before the Millcreek Township School District must pass their 2013-14 budget, another option has been put on the table for the board to consider.
Acting superintendent William Hall called this plan "Buying Time," and it would do just that - buy an additional year's worth of time to sort out the budget's nearly nine million dollar deficit, without closing schools this year.
The board has managed to get their deficit down to $4.7 million through various cuts. The "Buying Time" plan would make up that amount needed.
Here's what it would do: refinance the bond, giving the district an extra two million dollars, while raising taxes nearly $900,000. It would also cut $400,000 more out of the budget and offer early retirement incentives and reduce staff to save $1.4 million.
Hall did stress that this plan is only a one year fix, and it doesn't guarantee the district won't be right back in this position next year.
The benefit of it, though, is the district will have more time to not rush any decisions.
"I don't want to give to give [these parents] false hopes," said current board president Terry Scutella. "I don't want them to think because we're buying time that their school is going to be there. If we're buying time, we're going to look at everything and ease in the children, ease with their emotions, if we can do it financially."
Nadine Clement, a parent of Ridgefield students, says she doesn't see this option as false hope. She sees it as taking the time needed to make the right decision.
"I never want to see schools close, but I feel it would be more acceptable if it was done correctly. Hearing about this in April and not knowing where our kids will go until August, that's just not acceptable."
There is a public hearing set for Wednesday, May 8, for parents regarding the possibility of school closings. Hall said he will be discussing redistricting, if school do close. It's at 7:00 PM at McDowell Intermediate.