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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Thursday, March 31, 2005

ISTA News Release

NEWS RELEASE FROM ISTA (Indiana State Teacher's Association)


That’s the question that is likely to be asked of Indiana legislators when they hold their Town Hall meeting on Friday, April 1, 2005, 3:00-4:30 p.m. at the Battell Center. Parents, teachers and administrations are planning to ask very pointed questions regarding the state’s funding for public schools. HB 1001, the House version of a budget bill for 2006 and 2007, essentially flat lines the state’s funding for education. With insurance costs rising at astronomical rates of 15-25% and fuel prices soaring, in reality this is a budget cut. Making the situation even worse, the state has reduced tuition support payments for 2005 starting with the March payment. The Department of Education projects the following reduction in funding for area school corporations.

2005 State Funding Reduction

South Bend -$1.1 million
P-H-M -526,490
Mishawaka -274,304
Glenn -91,523
Union-North -69,033
New Prairie -136,000
Plymouth -169,615
Bremen -75,307
Triton -57,669
Culver -59,444
Argos -37,377
Elkhart -671,912
Goshen -308,609
Wa-Nee -166,145
Knox -102,781
North Judson -80,382
LaPorte -318,988
Michigan City -350,012
Baugo -87,000
Wawasee -175,000

While some corporations have not yet fully assessed the devastating effects of this funding shortfall, the Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation recently announced that it faces a projected -$2.3 million budget shortfall for calendar year 2005 and a $4.6 million estimated budget shortfall for 2006 calendar year. This dire situation has led Penn Superintendent, Robert Howard, to recommend to the Board of School Trustees the elimination of 20 staff positions for 2005-06, an additional 22+ positions in 2006-07, the elimination of Summer School in 2006, as well as several regular school year programs and the closing of two schools.

Superintendent, Joan Raymond, announced that South Bend’s deficit for 2005 is expected to be at $4,490,417. According to Raymond, cuts necessary to counter the deficit will rival cuts of $8 million dollars made in 2001 and 2002. That doesn’t touch the shortfall to occur in 2006 and 2007 due to the flat lining.

The real kicker comes with a rash of unfunded mandates recently proposed and supported by Republican lawmakers. If enacted into law these mandates will certainly result in huge funding cuts to public schools and magnify the already devastating loss of programs and resources for public school children.


1. SB 281 - Private School Voucher; Unfunded Tuition Credits
for private schools, and Transfer Tuition Discounts

2. SB 200 - Extension of CORE Curriculum

3. SB 231 - Changes Kindergarten Entrance Age Date Change

4. SB 371 - Increase in Dropout Age; Unfunded Spring I-STEP
testing; Professional Standards Board changes

5. SB 598 - Diverts Common School and Alternative Education
Funds from traditional public schools to charter

Republicans hosting the Town Hall meeting can expect some heated debate as frustrated educators voice their concerns with legislators who increase expectations for public school performance but continue to siphon off money with unfunded mandates and private school vouchers.

Note from Dr. Stock: Wawasee's projected cut in funding over the two-year budget period is $575,000 in ongoing revenue.

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