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Monday, May 2, 2016

CCSC prepared for funding cuts

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Dan Schroeder
Governor Mitch Daniels recently announced the state will reduce funding to Kindergarten-12 schools by $297 million, beginning with the January payment.

Fortunately, Clay Community School Corporation is prepared for the possible 2.7-4.6 percent taken from the general fund for the 2010 budget.

"The governor has indicated that schools should be able to make cuts without a reduction in force to classroom teachers," Supt. Dan Schroeder said. "We don't think we will have to lay off anyone for the 2010-11 school year, unless there are future unforeseen cuts."

"Currently we are waiting on more details from the state," Business Manager Mike Fowler added.

According to Fowler, the corporation has been monetarily practical the last 3.5 years, which gives them a little more wiggle room.

"We want the community to know that because we were fiscally prudent that we have a cash balance, which we can use so we do not have to lay off individuals," Schroeder said. "This time period will allow us to keep track of incoming revenue compared to outgoing expense."

"This gives us the ability to study how to move forward instead of reacting," Fowler added. "We have 18 months to study. There is the possibility of changing the salary or benefit structure to help avoid depleting positions."

The general fund is used primarily for employee salaries and benefits.

"Approximately 95 percent of the general fund is used for salary and fringe benefits," Fowler said. "So the possible 4.6 percent cut is almost equal to everything else that is in the general fund."

Though no cuts in personnel are planned, both Schroeder and Fowler believe that option would be examined later if the state makes more budget cuts to education in the future.

"If cuts to the budget continue beyond the 2010-11 school year for (CCSC) it will be very difficult to not cut personnel," Schroeder said. "It is difficult economic times and schools across the state are being asked to cut expenses. We want the community to know it is because of the state budget and not problems caused by the corporation."

Both men agreed the building project would not be affected by the cuts in the general fund because the project is being paid for from Debt Service.

"To our knowledge Debt Service is not going to be cut," Schroeder said. "All bonds and financing was arranged prior to any budget cuts by the state."

"Whether or not we did this building project would have no impact on future personnel decreases," Fowler added.

The future of a bus garage is still to be decided by the Clay Community School Board of Trustees.

"In my 23 years as an administrator, these are the most difficult financial conditions the schools have experienced," Schroeder said.

"The cuts are being made because of current economic conditions and we hope the local, state and national economy will pick up to provide more revenue to the schools in the future."

'Citizens' Checklist'

The Indiana State Board of Education met Dec. 17 in an attempt to fulfill Gov. Daniels K-12 budget reductions. After deliberations, a "Citizens' Checklist" of cost-saving measures was created for each school corporation, school board and school community, which is up for adoption at its Jan. 8 meeting.

Cost-saving recommendations in the checklist will include, but are not limited to, the following:

* Examine school corporation insurance plans, including a cost-benefit analysis of joining the State of Indiana employee health plan,

* Guarantees all school employees contribute equally and equitably to insurance plans,

* Limiting of school board members' benefits,

* Sharing of services between school corporations,

* Closure of underutilized buildings and sale of unused buildings,

* Reduction or elimination of travel expenses, association dues and fees,

* Freeze on hiring administrative personnel, and

* Freezing salaries statewide for all school corporation employees.

Source: http://www.doe.in.gov/news/2009/12-Decem....

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I hope people realize that the level educational required to succeed today has risen from what it was just 15 years ago. This corporation has made cut backs in academic areas in bits and pieces over the past 7-8 years which on yearly basis seem small but when comparing to what was offered to students in year 2000 and what is offered now seem quite substantial.

The "Best Buy" rating has NOTHING to do with the quality of the education offered. Only how inexpensively it is done. While thriftiness is a desirable trait, one still has to choose quality so the "product" does the job that is needed. It's like buying feed for your livestock. One can buy a cheap low protein pellet made from and train car load of moldy corn, disguised with enough molasses so cattle will eat it, or we can buy a more expensive product that the cattle will do well on. The best buy product is not always truly a best buy.

Now there are going to be even more cuts as mandated by our governor. We have eliminated early bird where other corporation have seen the need to offer more periods per day so students can get those extra courses that are now considered necessary. We have combined different levels of classes into combined classes where the teacher's time is split teaching two lesson plans. We have started to only offer some courses every other year. We have reduced class sections so students cannot fit the needed courses into their schedule as many are offered only one time per day, some at like times.

Lower grade classes continue to get larger. We are using more and more aides so actual teacher/student time is steadily decreasing.

We are already not always "feeding" the students the high quality academic "feed" that they require so they can succeed and get jobs to feed themselves later. Some will still succeed as they are better at navigating and choosing from the menu offered at the school and elsewhere so their student experience will be from outside the corporation. Those that don't, we will be feeding for the rest of their lives via food stamps and welfare. To me that is not a "best buy"....Look at the list in this article and tell the school board where the cuts need to be made. I for one think too many have already been made to academics and some listed are not possible because of the way teacher's contracts are negotiated. Speak up and write to the school board, PLEASE. It's your community and whether you have a child in school or not, you will be paying for the people who cannot get jobs that will support them. It's not someone else's problem. It's yours.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Mon, Jan 4, 2010, at 12:28 PM

I don't know what happened to Daniels philosophy regarding educating students and then convincing them to stay in Indiana to work after completing that education it looks like he didn't really believe that afterall.

-- Posted by Soni on Mon, Jan 4, 2010, at 8:01 PM

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