Resident offers suggestion for school districtEditor:Whenever a school levy is unsuccessful, those residing in that school district wait with anticipation for reaction from the administration as to "what is going to happen now." With the defeat of the levy for the Newcomerstown School District, it is interesting that among the early comments from the administration are that "the need does not go away, it will only increase" and that the options offered at this time are to "place the measure back on the ballot and to make cuts in programs and staff" (Newcomerstown News, Nov. 10, 2010, edition).I must say that I am disappointed that this is the first message that taxpayers residing in the district are hearing. I would have anticipated that in the tough economic times that our region has experienced since the passage of the last levy, we would have been hearing the message our administration is committed, to coin a phrase that is used in business, "to working smarter and more efficiently." It would appear from an outside vantage point, that the cost-cutting efforts in the district should start with the administration and not with cutting programs and teachers.When comparing the administrative staff at the Newcomerstown School district with other schools in the IVC, it appears that there are several more administrative positions within the Newcomerstown district than at any other. For example, other districts have principals serving more than one elementary school and each school is staffed with only one secretary. Several districts combine positions, such as having EMIS coordinators fulfilling roles as Curriculum Coordinator or the EMIS role being fulfilled by the assistant to the Treasurer. Several also, with smaller administrative staffs, offer additional services, such as Gifted and Talented programs. So, on the surface, it is difficult not to make the comparison that other districts are doing more, with less, when compared to Newcomerstown.We also need to make sure that we are using personnel as efficiently as possible while providing quality education. For example, if Newcomerstown adopted the current guidelines from the State of Ohio for physical education requirements in which marching band and athletics fulfilled the graduation requirement for physical education, then time would be freed up in the high school physical education teacher's time for performing other tasks, such as some of the duties of the athletic director.While it is not comfortable to talk about cutting positions and persons possibly loosing employment, I would like to see that the administration of the district has had these tough conversations and can show to the persons of the district that it has done as much as it can to protect the interests of the students and teachers prior to making cuts in programs and staff. Mariann HardingNewcomerstown