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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

CCSC budget 'fiscally stable'

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The news isn't bad for Clay Community School Corporation.

During a special meeting Tuesday, a budget hearing was conducted in which Business Manager Mike Fowler addressed the concerns of the board regarding the capital projects plan, school bus replacement plan and levy neutrality.

"We are fiscally stable, especially when compared to other corporations," Fowler said. "With the information we have available to us today there are no major changes."

Fowler added that compared to other corporations CCSC is doing great in other areas as well.

"I've heard of other school corporations have an average of 36 kids in an elementary classroom, or having to RIF (reduction in force) 160 teachers," he said. "We are keeping teachers in the classrooms, keeping class size numbers down, paying for a building project and continuing to improve the quality of education through technology."

"We have increased our academic scores, our schools are accredited, for the last three years we put together goals and strategies, our graduation rates have improved and fiber (optic) has been installed at Clay City," Supt. Dan Schroeder said. "Even in these economic times we have continued to improve, we have been frugal and we are improving."

The floor was opened for comments from patrons and Clay County resident John Brush commented on the hard work of everyone in the corporation, certified and non-certified.

"I think as a small community, it is great to see the improvements," Brush said. "We are improving our building, putting reliable buses on the road and not RIFing teachers. You have done an excellent job without tax dollars."

Board member Dottie King agreed with Brush.

"We have put our money where our mouth is," King said. "We are sitting on this board during some tough economic times, we are not RIFing teachers and we have kept our class sizes small."

Though there is still the possibility for the state to cut funding again in the future, the board agreed CCSC seems to be able to weather another storm.

The Clay Community School Board of Trustees will vote on the budget on Sept. 13.

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LOL......We haven't had to RIF teachers because we hold the maximum percentage that the state allows out of use for education.

The school corporation that had to RIF 160 teachers is Anderson Community Schools, almost twice the size of the CCSC at an ADM of 8805. South Bend Community Schools laid off 250 teacher and their ADM is over 21,000. Both of these corporation have been holding near the minimum required by the state in their cash balances, utilizing most of the taxpayer's dollars taken for education to educate. While it makes budget cuts hard to face when you have to RIF teachers, of what educational benefit is it to hold tax dollars in the bank instead of putting them to use in the classroom?

Ten Percent of the total budget equals about 4.7 million dollars. That is equal to about one hundred times the average salary we pay teachers. Would 50 more teachers in the corporation during good economic times be worth having to RIF in lean years? Having more teachers part of the time seems better than maintaining a lower number all of the time to me.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Wed, Sep 1, 2010, at 12:13 AM

So you are saying that we need to hire enough teachers, and then when money is tight, we should RIF teachers. Doesn't that make little sense to hurt the lives of people trying to do a difficult job? Typical response from you. Can you please give reference information from your statistics? It seems that you are always providing us numbers without reference.

-- Posted by Ron Archer on Wed, Sep 1, 2010, at 7:35 AM

Leo- Just out of curiosity. Is there anything that you think the school corporation does RIGHT? Do you think you could go in and change it all? Your ranting is seriously getting old.

-- Posted by ugotitdude on Wed, Sep 1, 2010, at 8:21 AM

That's a great question, ugotitdude.

-- Posted by Gunslinger on Wed, Sep 1, 2010, at 11:21 AM

When choices are made to invest our money into teaching in the classroom, I say kudos but when it's into buildings, and other non academic items, I do not agree. Rose Hulman used a WWII era Quonset that used to house planes at Hulman Field and still turned out stellar graduates for a long time until alums came back and invested in the future students. We will never get the income tax base to support pretty buildings and extracurricular activities if we don't fully support academics and start switching HOW and WHAT we are spending what money we have now and don't invest in tomorrow's income earners. No matter how pretty our buildings are or how many band competitions our school wins, that won't get the students the needed skills they must have to function sufficiently in today's world. While building those additions doesn't come out of the staffing "pot" of money, the extra people to care for them and administer in them will...forever. That means less money for teaching students. Wake up people!! We are only fiscally stable because we've continued to nibble away each year in academic areas while maintaining areas where other corporations have cut to maintain academics. While other corps close buildings and trim extracurriculars, we keep trimming class sections and course offerings....Our investment style has been a poor one. Al we have to show is the icing on the cake of being #1 in band, and building additions. When studetns from Clay go out to get a job or go to college, that's not going to give them ANY sort of edge in a world where schools in China and India have surpassed some of the top school districts in the US...and we're not anywhere near the top.

To accept the status quo in academics is to automatically decline.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Wed, Sep 1, 2010, at 4:35 PM

Jenny, for once I have to agree with some of what you have said. Closing a building would have been financially smarter. Some past board members has placed stock in their personal interest above common sense. Academics are difficult to assess, due to the constant changing of classes from year to year. Instead of a student driven schedule, why not have a curriculum driven schedule. When my kids went through, some classes didn't "make" due to low numbers of kids signing u. I have said forever, that we should have the administration say this is what we have decided is important for our kids. From that schedule, the kids can pick their classes. My kids were always having to change their schedule due to these classes with low numbers. I have heard that the kids this year couldn't change their schedule. If they signed up for a class, then they were to take it. At least we wouldn't have a teacher teaching only 7-10 kids. Let's not worry about China and India just yet. Let's allow Mr. Rayle, Mr. Bell, and all of the other administration run their schools and utilize their training and experience. I heard that the Northview ISTEP scores were up quite a bit.

-- Posted by Ron Archer on Wed, Sep 1, 2010, at 8:39 PM

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