The keys to the success of Fairfield City School District - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

The keys to the success of Fairfield City Schools


The Fairfield City School District has a 75 million dollar budget, 10,000 students and 1,000 staff members. The district also has an 'excellent' rating along with a budget surplus.

"What we try to do is look at everything that we provide and try to go down to the bare bones and without really affecting our educational system," says Superintendent Paul Otten. "We've made significant cuts over the last three years. We've cut almost 130 positions across the district. When we have someone resign for retirement purposes we really evaluate whether we need that position."

Treasurer Nancy Lane says they've tried to do things differently. "We are trying to think outside the box sometimes by having people playing to their strengths and helping us get us through and maybe save some money," said Lane.

She says part of thinking outside the box is asking local businesses for help financially. "We have the right people in the right positions to go and talk to those local businesses and all those things help decrease our costs," she said.

Otten says ultimately it takes good leadership. "Sometimes I think it's real easy for an administrator to walk in and say this is what we need you to do and I expect you to go back and do it. It's a whole other issue to say ‘I'm going to help you do this and we're going to work through this together as a team,'" said Otten.

What does he say is the bottom line? "You've got to have your staff behind you to make these things possible and our staff, we have stretched them and they have responded in an outstanding manner and we've been able to achieve what we've been able to achieve," he said.

Otten adds that it's taken about three years,and their rating had fallen somewhat. But the last one that came out last week is the one that matters the most now. The rating is something that comes out about this time every year and is based on how students perform on standardized tests.

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