The Wawascene was created by Dr. Mark Stock, former Superintendent of the Wawasee Community School Corporation. Due to its local popularity, Dr. Stock has left the blog site to future Wawasee administrators.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Facing the Future

As you are aware, there is much uncertainty in the legislative session. In addition to reading The Wawascene daily, I hope you are following some of the links on The Super's Blog and the Indiana Government Site. By clicking on General Assembly and Bills and Resolutions you can follow much of the legislation. ISTA has provided some very good links and legislative hot line information as well. Please e-mail your legislators. I heard one commentator say it is helpful simply to e-mail them the name of the bill (such as House Bill #_____) and then say, "I oppose it or I support it." That is enough for them to tally their responses.

Every citizen should do their part.

The following cuts have already been made in the last few years:
1. We have reduced at least three teaching positions through attrition in addition to four positions that were RIFed two years ago.
2. We have reduced one nurse position at Wawasee High School.
3. We have reduced one secretarial position at Wawasee Middle School.
4. We have reduced the Hot Lunch Directors position.
5. We have reduced one half of a secretarial position in Central Office.
6. We have reduced the cost of a bookkeeping position in Central Office by one third.
7. We reduced the Transportation Secretary position from a year round position to a school year position.

The following cost shifts and cuts have been made this year:
1. Climate control and energy savings No hard estimates
2. Close high school pool No hard estimates
3. Staff development cost shifts 38,000
4. Gifted and Talented Program 13,000
5. Pay for special ed. prof. dev. from fed. funds 6,000
6. Eliminate support staff banquet 3,400
7. Reimbursement to GF for spec ed copy costs 2,000
8. Eliminate little league donations 4,500
9. Cut 1 WMS position TBA 35,000
10. Cuts by attrition Unknown

_____________________________________ Total 101,900

Note: Cutting positions by attrition will be dependent on maintaining reasonable class sizes and the number of retirements and openings there are. The sooner we know this the easier it will be on those affected.

Now we must move to personnel/program cuts. Our General Fund is 89-90% personnel costs. There is simply no way to get up to $600,000 in cuts without affecting personnel. Decisions have NOT been made but I will ask the board to discuss the process at the March meeting. The board is not likely to be discussing actual personnel cuts at that meeting. However, I would like to have a public forum between the March and April board meetings to present the fiscal situation in an open environment so everybody can hear. I will likely propose some options for the public and board to consider so that everything is open to the public and staff. Then the board can vote in the April board meeting. Our WCEA agreement provides the internal deadline of April 15th to submit a RIF list. No list has been created yet. We have been working on trying to find non-personnel items.

Trying times.

Ten years ago I came to each school and did a presentation regarding school choice, vouchers and my predictions for the future. I was right, in that the time has come where the public school mandate is being challenged by many pieces of legislation and no doubt some of these will go through. This will further erode support for public schools. Where I was wrong, was that I said if public schools did not improve we were in danger. Well, we have improved. By almost every measure I can find, I feel comfortable saying that Indiana and Wawasee students and staff have risen to the occasion and have improved. (click here for Dr. Reed's announcements on Indiana performance) I think we are on the cusp of further great things.

But then this.

1 comment:

anna said...

Your blog is great! It's hard to find blogs with good content and people talking about Bookkeeping these days! I have a secret Bookkeeping Exposed if you want to come check it out