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Thursday, May 5, 2016

CCSC finances compensate for state cuts

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

(Photo)
Unlike many school corporations across the state, Clay Community Schools is keeping its head above water.

Business Manager Mike Fowler presented the 2010 Annual Business Office Report to the Clay Community School Board of Trustees during its recent meeting.

"We've got five main things we want to talk about," he said. "The cash balances, state funding cuts, food service and transportation costs, expenditures in the general fund and health insurance."

When comparing 2008-09 cash balances, the general fund was at $4,849,347, the capital projects fund was $2,869,262 and Transportation was $984,256, all of which was an increase of $847,703, $612,282 and $159,002, respectively. The school lunch budget was $403,821, a loss of $3,546.

"Anytime you are going into a downturn, you want to be prepared for that downturn," he said. "Our revenue has exceeded expenditures, which, if you are going into a downturn, that is where you want to be."

In 2009, Clay Community Schools received $27,571,839 in the basic grant and $203,500 in the preschool special education grant for a combined total of $27,775,339.

In 2010, the preschool special education grant was combined with the basic grant for a total of $27,703,623.

"Had the governor not cut anything, we would've lost $71,716," Fowler said. "But he did make cuts of about 4.6 percent, and we will know exact dollars later this month."

Based on the information obtained by Fowler, CCSC is projecting to lose approximately $1,246,663. The estimated total revenue loss by comparing 2009 to 2010 is $1,318,380.

"Where do we get the 1.3 million dollars," Fowler said.

He gave ideas to the board on how to recover the revenue loss, including surplus from the 2009 general fund structural surplus, retirements of teachers at the top of the salary scale who would be replaced with teachers near the bottom of the scale, the retirement of the Kids, Family and Community (KFC) Coordinator, projected severance cost reductions, elimination of bank FDIC charges and one time expenditures.

"Those savings all attribute to $1,336,098, we have covered the governor's deficit plus $17,719," he said. "So at this point, not saying the governor won't cut anymore, not talking about future health insurance increases, we have managed to get over the first wave that hit public schools."

"My concerns are still with the economy and with health insurance," he added.

Fowler continued with the presentation on the transportation costs and the actual food cost for lunch. In the health insurance bracket, he acknowledged 2009 was better than the past.

"Thirteen percent of general fund spending is due to health/dental insurance, this amounts to $3,360,000 in expenditures," he said. "If you are looking for savings, this is the biggest opportunity."

"The only way to get saving from health insurance is through strategic changes in plan design and culture," he said. "Financially speaking, we are better off than a lot of school corporations around the state."

Fowler said, because of the cash balances, the administration has time to make informed, thoughtful and rational decisions. He highlighted CCSC is continuing to move forward with new curriculum measures, new special education programs, new technology, new educational equipment and renovating buildings.

"Not only are we financially sound, but we are moving forward as we are doing it," he said. "We are not recommending any employee cuts at this time."


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Why are we not forced to make cuts? How can a budget that is supposed to be almost equal in expenditures and revenues stand to lose almost $1.3 million dollars? Did the corporation over-budget to get more revenue out of the taxpayer's pockets or did they just not provide all of the education that the taxpayer thought he was paying for? Is this why we have 25-30 students in a classroom in our elementary schools, high school teachers trying to teach two classes at the same time, and students trying to learn subjects from a computer program instead of having a teacher? Had our corporation invested the $1.3 million dollars in education, we might be looking at reducing staff but we would have been getting all the education we could buy.

Linton-Stockdale schools announced today that they would not be having summer school this year as one of their budget cuts in facing the reduced revenues. How long has it been since this corporation has even offered summer school?

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Thu, Feb 18, 2010, at 5:21 PM

Leo:

We ARE making cuts. We have made cuts every year in subtle ways. Last year early bird was taken away. Other years course sections have been cut. This year only the science and math AP exam fees will be covered. Other AP exams will cost the student about $80 a piece. Used to be that each student got a bonus for taking AP courses. Then they decided [and I agreed] to use that money to support the AP courses. When that went away, the support that had been shifted also got taken away. We get grants for things and start using that "soft" money on things that should be hard wired into the budget and then when the money disappears so does a piece of academics. Special needs program funding has been cut to support the pregnant mother/tot program when that soft funding for that ended. Parents now have to KNOW that their child is due that service and have to fight for it. We have been combining more and more classes over the past couple of years, making teachers teach two levels in one class which does not give student the opportunity to take in all the material required for the course. Not to mention book "rental" fees keep going up and up. Now they include paper products and copying fees and an agenda mate that except for a few pages of rules, could be purchased for 25% of the price at Walmart. One daughter had over $200 in book fees and rental this year. The other well over $100. I could have bought some of those books on line used for less. A new law has made it mandatory for colleges to post text books for courses a month in advance so students have time to shop for their best buy. Might be time to make public schools do that as well.

Yet we keep supporting the athletic programs and the facilities required for them when on news just today it was reported that only 3% of those students who play high school basketball [that was their example but other sports had similar numbers] go on to get scholarships for their sport in college and only 2% of that 3% go on to a professional career in their sport. We keep playing up sports and playing down academics. So many more scholarship opportunities in academics and so many more actually get through college with a degree when NOT there on sports scholarships.

I hate to see athletics sacrificed but when you don't have money for the meat and potatoes AND the ice cream and cake, which do you give up?

Year after year we continue to let them eat cake.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Thu, Feb 18, 2010, at 9:25 PM

Bloomington schools just announced on radio this AM that they are cutting staff by 75 people and budget by over a million dollars due to state cuts. Why were we holding back from the students and for how long so we didn't have to do same but in addition gave raises this year when so many others in many areas of education and industry did not to allow for fiscal health of their schools/companies?

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Fri, Feb 19, 2010, at 7:44 AM


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