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State support to decrease by more than $315,000 in '12

January 25, 2012
The Crawford County Community School Corp. expects the amount of state support it receives this year to be $315,886 less than in 2011.

James Smith, the corporation's business manager, reported to the board of trustees, at its Tuesday, Jan. 17, meeting at English Elementary School, that the state support is estimated to be almost $10.8 million, down from more than $11.1 million the previous year.

However, Superintendent Dr. Mark Eastridge said the reduction is even more severe when the actual 2011 state dollars are compared with what the corporation had been told it would receive.

"In '11, it was $11,111,578, but it should have been $11,693,126," he said. "So, last year, we were cut by the state from what we had been promised $581,547.53. So, whenever we say that we're cut the $315,886.47 (in 2012), well, that's on top of over a half-million dollars.

"We can't just say we've been cut $315,000. … We've been cut millions of dollars from what we should have received over the last few years. So, that's why we're faced with the challenges we're faced with."

Eastridge told the trustees that, with the state in excess of its approved balances, there has been talk of restoring some of the education funding cuts and that he has talked with several elected state officials and was scheduled to talk with State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett.

"They're sitting on $1.8 billion," he said. "Well, a lot of that has been achieved by the cuts placed on schools."

Eastridge said Crawford County has made tremendous progress in recent years, but the challenge will be to keep it going.

"Can we continue to absorb cuts?" he said. "That's really the challenge for us."

Eastridge also provided the board with an update on a couple of renovation projects, including the upgrade of a couple of student rest rooms near the media center, at Crawford County Junior-Senior High School.

He said demolition of the rest rooms near the media center should take place during spring break when students are not in the building.

Regarding the other project, the renovation of the Food and Consumer Sciences and Art classrooms, Eastridge said final bid documents should be ready for board approval in March.

"Then, we'll take it out to bid and bring back the prices to you in April, and, hopefully, we'll be in a position where we can accept those bids" and work can begin when school lets out for the summer, he said. "Then, the day school starts (in August), we'll move back into those areas."

The rest room project is to be paid for with leftover money from an essentially no-interest loan funded from the sale of federal Qualified Zone Academy Bonds the corporation received to renovate the science labs and media center at CCJSHS as well as up to $25,000 of emergency funds.

The corporation received permission from the county council to use up to $150,000 of the annual gaming dollars it receives from the county to help pay for the renovation of the FCS and art classrooms.

In other business, the board:

•Received an end-of-the-year funds report from Smith. The start and end balances for the major funds were as follows: general, $1,035,017 and $857,236; debt service, $805,578 and $1,158,024; retirement/severance bond, $164,192 and $100,185; capital projects, $386,851 and $307,826; transportation, $900,275 and $654,083; and school bus replacement, $381,176 and $323,859.

•Voted 5-0-1 (Lee Holzbog abstained) to approve the resignation of Monica Holzbog Stephenson as library aide and Battle of the Books coach at Patoka Elementary.

•Was shown the banner the school corporation received for having earned district accreditation through AdvancED.

•Approved the following consent agenda items:

—The resignations of Greg Gogel as varsity baseball coach and Jolynne Cruze as Title I assistant at Leavenworth Elementary.

—English Elementary Principal Debbie Ade's request for fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders to take a Toby Tours field trip to Chicago on May 9 and 10.

—A resolution to honor varsity boys' basketball coach Mike Brown for his 400th victory as a varsity coach in Indiana. Brown achieved the milestone on Dec. 17.

—Megan Smith as Science Bowl coach at Milltown Elementary.

—FFA sponsor Andy Howell's request to take students on a field trip to Purdue University and Ivy Tech Lafayette on Jan. 28 and 28 for the state meat and horse judging contests.

—The renewal of the annual contract with the Crawford County Alternative School. The terms of the contract are the same as the previous year.

—The transfer of bus route No. 25 to Tim Fields effective Jan. 18.

—Presented curricular changes at CCJSHS, including the addition of an Advanced Placement art class.

—Nerissa Fraime as the math academic coach at Leavenworth Elementary.

—Heather Minton's resignation as 1/2 drama sponsor at CCJSHS.

—An emergency resolution to repair the public address system in the CCJSHS gymnasium. Eastridge estimated the cost will be approximately $3,500.

—Accepted a donation of $1,600 from former student Ryan Gleitz for the purchase of alternative communication equipment, including two iPads, ProLoQuo2 software and a support stand, for use by CCJSHS special education teacher Ginger Barton.

Eastridge also presented Tim Jellison, the president of the school board, with a pin from the Indiana School Board Association for earning professional development certifications.

The school board next will meet Tuesday, Feb. 21, at Milltown Elementary. The public meeting will begin at 7:15 p.m. following a 5:30 closed executive session.

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