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, March 09, 2005

Board Meeting Review

The school board meeting was held last night. The board minutes from February and the agenda for February and March are posted here. We cannot post the actual March minutes till April because they are not official until the board approves them. Minutes become the official and legally binding record of what happens in a board meeting.

The board meeting for April has been moved to Tuesday, April 19, 2005. The board has often moved the April meeting to allow the extra week after spring break.

I reported that Wawasee has currently approved 6 teacher retirements for next year. As those retirements continue to come in it will allow the school district some additional flexibility for staffing decisions to lesson the likelihood of RIF's (Reduction In Force).

The board approved the final step in terminating the old 401(a) pension plan. Letters to that effect have or will be going out soon to those affected.

I reported on the state's financial crisis and it's effect on Wawasee Schools. The state legislature will not pass a budget bill until April, assuming they don't go into extended session. It is too early to tell, but we anticipate we could be cut up to $575,000 over a two-year period. It could be more it could be less, depending on the budget bill that gets approved.

Do not be fooled by the press releases that say, "Public Schools Will Get New Money." Many schools like ours will be losing money due to flat enrollment. Growing schools will receive the money we lose. Just because enrollment is flat doesn't mean the utility bills, insurance bills and property and casualty bills are flat too. This concept is often ignored in all the legislative confusion and political rhetoric.

Even if we can avoid major RIF's this year, it does not mean it doesn't impact our programs, our students or our staff. Just because a person doesn't lose a job doesn't mean the job itself didn't disappear.

We continue to look at staffing patterns and as the picture grows more clear I will post our thoughts on the Wawascene to keep everything out in the open. Hopefully into April, we will begin to see how this will shake out.

Thank you for your patience.

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