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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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Request for Public Input for Budget Reductions

Wawasee Community Schools is seeking input from the community for ways the school corporation can reduce the budget to meet the new funding formula from the State of Indiana. Parents and community members are invited to post constructive ideas on how the budget can be reduced with a minimal impact on student learning.

Comments are to be limited to 200 words. If you have additional comments, please e-mail them to TEdington@wawasee.k12.in.us. Suggestions will be accepted from March 2nd to March 17th.

There will also be time for public comments on March 9th at the beginning of the school board meeting. The meeting will be held at Wawasee High School in the lecture room and will start at 5 p.m.

81 comments:

Anonymous said...

just make it fair for everybody

Anonymous said...

I think looking at transportation and seeing if there is any way to adjust bus routes to be more efficient? Also is a 4 day school week a possibility for our district? Would this cut down on transportation, energy usage, etc. I think that the school corporation has a difficult task ahead of them and no matter what they decide someone will always be unpleased with the decisions.
Thank you to the administration for opening up this forum for public input

Tzombie said...

I highly agree with what the second post typed, especially about the transportation efficiency. This is probably just my energy conservative side.

Anonymous said...

How about closing the high school pool. I know they use it for life guarding classes but is there any way they could take those classes at the middle school. I know it would hurt the elementary swim classes but other schools like Fairfield and Westview get along just fine without. Maybe we could figure out a way to bus the elementary classes to the middle school. I don't know if it would help but its an idea.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if we put the Middle schoolers at the same school we could save some money? Transportation is a big thing as well. It seems like there are a lot of buses running with only a few children on them. Maybe use a minibus for those runs? I liked the thought of a 4 day week someone mentioned. Could we make the days longer for that not to complicate the state required days? Could we contract out some of the cleaning responsibilities to a local company? It is going to be tough and we all need to pull together.

Anonymous said...

I think we need to be looking not only at the budget crunch but also ways to improve our schools the whole way around. They are getting way out of control and we are 'losing' students. I will leave it that topic at that for now...but I do seriously think you need to poll your community and staff on ways to improve our school (as it's not just a money thing) and take SERIOUSLY what they have to say.

Budget crunch...while all these extra things going on for the kids are great, it IS unfortunately costing the schools a tremendous amount of money since they are not getting charged for use of our buildings. I think we may need to look at charging programs for use of our buildings...the athletic clubs and various organizations as sad as that may be.
I've heard going back to semesters would save the school money...should we do that?
Consolodate WMS and Milford? How much would that save? BUT what would we lose academically since Milford seems to be a very strong school for us.
Pool...elementary already utilizes the MS pool. But closing the HS may save money.
How about the school looking at how they disperse the money the state gives them? Maybe they need to look at how much money they put into each "account"
Later start date...what would that do?
A true balanced calendar...could that help? That may be a doule whamy...financially and for our students if done right...school 9 weeks, off 2 (for those that qualify) It really doesn't lengthen the calendar.

Curtis Smeltzer said...

Do what you do when you're saving money at home.

One thing that I can think of (particularly in schools like Syracuse Elementary) would be to put plastic over the old windows in the old part of the school in the winter. It will save on heat loss. You can also lower the thermostat by 2-3 degrees. Kids can wear a sweatshirt at school. With all of the buildings in the system, that is bound to save a lot of money.

Another idea is to limit or turn off the Air Conditioning in the warmer months. When I was in elementary, we didn't have it, and it didn't kill us.

Money can also be saved in practical ways like not leaving the school buses run while not moving, and unplugging computers, TVs, and any other devices when not in use. These little things will add up, and in all of those buildings the savings will increase exponentially.

You could also raise sporting event tickets by $1.00/ticket.

Anonymous said...

1. Put PE as an encore class would possibly eliminate a PE position at WMS; also double up size of PE classes.
2. Eliminate All-write position in corporation.
3. Discontinue shuttle bus that runs before 7:00a.m. going to Milford from NW and Syracuse areas.
4. Consolidate some MS athletic teams to reduce paid coaching positions.
5. Have HS athletes pay to be on an athletic team to defey translportation costs.
6. Have athletic clubs pay for use of school facilities.
7. Reduce Sat. athletic events; BB games, wrestling, etc. so buildings and gym can be kept cooler.
8. Eliminate one custodian at each school.
9. Elinimate one kitchen worker at each school.
10. If HS classes have a low number of students don't offer that class.
11. Fewer vacation days so students can get out in the spring sooner to reduce utilities.

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of para that work really hard, but I believe there are some that could be streamlined or hours reduced. It's tough to do that when there is a face to the position, but it may be necessary. Para's salaries are low, however, and it won't make a substantial cut.

Cut out specials or encores at the lower levels; focus on true academics at those levels.

High school--offer some teachers a part-time position rather than give "fluff" assignments. Cutting back on administrators may be a possibility.

No matter where the cuts take place, it's going to be hard on our school system. It's a sad time for education.

Anonymous said...

Close the high school pool. This was discussed a few years ago at a board meeting and I think $30,000 per year was what it would save, which is the cost of a teacher.

Anonymous said...

Cut back on paper usage by eliminating much of the "junk mail" sent home each week. Move towards a paper-less system. Have parents receive newsletters, etc, via email.

Anonymous said...

Why do custodians wear uniforms? Do we pay for this? Could it be cut?

Anonymous said...

Can teachers cover recess and not pay someone extra? This is what other schools are doing.

Anonymous said...

I do like the ideas the person had about heating/cooling. BUT it needs to go for the central office as well. I remember it being cold and wearing our coats or sweatshirts OR it being very hot and sweating BUT BUT BUT, CO had heat on or a/c. They can and shoudl do the same!!!!!!!
Schools could and should cut down on paper usage by using what the schools alread have...the computers! Utilize them...do assignments on computers, tests on computers, etc.
Go back to semesters....it will save a BUNCH of money!!!!!!! Seriously, it will.
I agree, Maximize the teachers. I know some teachers have 10-15 kids in a room...why?? Have them teach another area then.

I like the balanced calendar with semesters idea! Those could be built in snow days! What a thing to look forward to!

For staff...rather than raising pay, can you give perks??? Like...giving green/gold tickets for their families? Not all staff would use them, but it would be something added. What about 'free lunches' for staff?

Anonymous said...

Explain why changing from trimesters to semesters would save money. No teachers were added . . .

Anonymous said...

Tuff times call for tuff decisions. The talk of all the eliminations being at the Elementary level boggles my mind. I find it hard to believe we will continue to offer encore classes at the cost of 9 elementary positions. It seems the brunt of the budget crunch will lie cheifly with the elementaries. I have yet to get a clear answer as to why. We have overpaid computer techs (too many), higher level educators with large amounts of prep time, small class sizes and little amount to prepare for. We have created central office administration that is unecessary and inefficient. Elementary teachers are this corporations foundation. Eliminating these positions will allow for a house that crumbles.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me that grades 1-4 class sizes should be protected as well as math and english all the way up. Other fat should be where the cuts come from.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree that is appears the Elementary schools are taking the largest hit. How many High School positions are being lost? How many high school counsellors? Couldn't we eliminate some of the extra art classes and music classes at the high school and those staff move around to support other schools? Do we need multiple languages taught at the high school? If they don't learn the basics well at the lower levels, the middle school and high school scores aren't going to improve. It seems we are top heavy and that is never a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am in middle school.. I attended Syracuse Elem. I love it. my favorite subject was Music, with Mrs. Stump. I Dont think we should take music out of schools. Why?? because it helps. there is students out there that want to become music teachers. and go far with music, students believe it or not have interest in music., just like athletics like P.E (GYM CLASS) why dont we take p.e. out? because athletes like it. Kids need to keep in shape. thats why. But music? Because students have interest it in, not everyone.. most. its a easy class ands you learn a lot!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am in middle school.. I attended Syracuse Elem. I love it. my favorite subject was Music, with Mrs. Stump. I Dont think we should take music out of schools. Why?? because it helps. there is students out there that want to become music teachers. and go far with music, students believe it or not have interest in music., just like athletics like P.E (GYM CLASS) why dont we take p.e. out? because athletes like it. Kids need to keep in shape. thats why. But music? Because students have interest it in, not everyone.. most. its a easy class ands you learn a lot!

Anonymous said...

Just drove by WHS and saw Dr. Edington there at almost 8:00 this evening. It reminded me of the heavy heavy burden that's been placed on a single man. I hope that we all keep in mind that he is doing his best to serve our schools.

Anonymous said...

Everything I've been told with trimesters is that it DOES DOES DOES increase the expense of our schools by quite a bit.
Some of those extra things at the HS are what help our students get into college...it's unbelievable anymore what a college wants to see on a transcript...you don't have what they want, you don't get in.

Anonymous said...

UMMMM I JUST HEARD THAT THE GYMNASTICS TEAM WAS INFORMED THAT THERE WOULD NO LONGER BE A TEAM NEXT YEAR????????
WHY?
WHY IS IT THAT THE SPORTS THAT HAVE PUT THE MOST TROPHIES IN THE CASE ARE THE FIRST TO BE LOOKED AT BEING CUT? WHY NOT THE TEAMS THAT DON'T HAVE WINNING SEASONS AND HAVEN'T FOR YEARS NOW? WHY DO THEY CONTINUE TO GET NEW GEAR? WHY DO SOME TEAMS NEED TO UNIFORMS EVERY YEAR OR MULTIPLE UNIFORMS WHILE OTHERS GO YEARS WITHOUT?

Anonymous said...

For payroll, send an electronic version of the paystub to cut down on paper and envelope usage. This could also be done in the summer to save on postage.

Anonymous said...

Coaches...why do we need so many coaches for a team? (I'm thinking of FB...what do they have like 50?)
Secretaries...why do we need 2-4 per building?
Nurses...can we eliminate?
Athletic directors...do we need 3?

Superintendent, Dr. Thomas Edington said...

Thank you for the comments that have been placed here so far. We value your input as we contiune to look for ways to reduce our budget.

Anonymous said...

I think if you want to combine Milford and Wawasee Middle Volleyball and Cross Country then it needs to apply to girls and boys basketball as well. If we want the kids to play together as a team they need to play together in all sports...not together in some and against each other in others.

Anonymous said...

Cutting the fat can be toough but, I hope we cut what needs to be cut.A few thoughts. 1.why do the custodians need take home trucks? this would save quite a bit.2.charge for use of our buildings as much as they are being used this could pay some bills.3.do we really need a dean of students?

Anonymous said...

How about cutting reimbursement for going to a conference or setting a flat amount that can be spent?

Anonymous said...

Milford School needs Mr. Conner... the kids love him and trust him. It would be a huge mistake to not have him there and it would negatively effect the kids. How about getting rid of the teachers who dont do their job? Should not matter how long they have been there. We also need Mrs. Zimmerman there. Both she and Ryan are amazing people and do their jobs very well.
It's really sad that we keep teachers whos hearts arent in it, yet we get rid of people who are actually doing their job and doing it well. Seems pretty twisted. Seems like Milford Elem. has been hit pretty hard. What about the Middle School and High School?

Anonymous said...

Middle School and HS are getting hit too. WMS is losing at least their asst principal too.
To me it seems like we could eliminate some coaching positions to 1-keep some teachers and 2-keep our gymnastics program. I mean seriously, does FB adn Bsktbl really need the number of coaches they have?????? Seriously people think about that! It's obvious that more coaches isn't creating a winning season (well, at least not for FB!) Also, I agree, do we need soooooo many secretaries? I thought we needed to improve our school and their outcomes, not our sports or doing things that we can do ourselves.

Anonymous said...

As a parent of a Syracuse Elementary 3rd grader, I have some real concerns over what I heard about Mrs. Miller losing her job as counsellor. I hear daily about my daughter's friends who have difficult lives and Mrs. Miller is their safe person. She is an advocate and cares deeply about the students. I am sure the same could be said for the North Webster counsellor though I do not know her personally. Whether we like it or not, our schools have to deal with an enormous amount of emotional issues from children who do not come from ideal situations. We are at almost 50% Free or Reduced and there are students who have awful home lives. To take from them 2 of the people who make their lives bearable over a few dollars seems absolutely immoral. Then, to top it off, we expect teachers to take over that position as well as bring up our scores so we can get off Academic Watch with the state. There has GOT to be money somewhere to preserve these positions! I vote that all my property taxes I pay to the school be allocated specifically for their positions. You think there a difficulties now, just see what happens when you remove the only stability some of our students have...Is it really worth the price?

Anonymous said...

I vote corporate office cuts some fat. There seems to be enough there to save a couple teachers and a couple of counsellors - the ones most important in impacting children's lives.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Edington,

Good luck in cleaning up 20+ years of messes. I honestly wish you the very best.

I had so many good teachers while growing up in this school system and it has been tragic to watch teachers hands being tied with bad management decisions. I hear good things about you and I hope you live up to the expectations.

This community needs change in order for students to become productive and successful citizens.

Anonymous said...

Bill 309 that was passed two weeks ago encouraging schools to utilize capital improvement funds and other funds for current budgetary constraints with the general funds have merit. Have they been looked at to restructure projects? Also, this is the worse financial challenge that Wawasee has seen in a long time (or as long as I have witnessed), this would be the best time to dip into the $3+ million dollars in the rainy day fund to not increase classroom size. As the Elkhart teachers said about the requirement for Bill 309 with salary freezing, it never hurts to ask-don't assume that the answer would be no. Teacher/Student Ratios are crucial to keeping Wawasee what it has always been to providing a great education.

Anonymous said...

I agree 100% that now is the time to use some of the rainy day fund. I also feel that getting rid of the counseling positions in the elementary schools will be detrimental. Does the administration really know what kinds of needs many of the students face today? From parents in jail to sexual abuse, alcoholic parents, divorce and a revolving door of live-ins, ... you get the point. So, lets remove the counselors... and on top of that get rid of assistant principals who also deal with the results of dysfunctional home lives... and let's let the teachers do it all. That is not reasonable. Let's let the teachers teach. It also seems strange that all the teacher cuts are coming at the elementary level, where class size is larger than in many middle school and high school classes. Elementary school is the foundation... if we take away instead of reinforcing, the structure will crumble. I am so tired of hearing, "We have to do what's best for kids", when in reality, our decisions are made by $$$$ and what is best for our basketball and football sports programs. I vote use the rainy day fund, and make drastic reductions in sports coaching positions.

Anonymous said...

Raise test scores.....cut teachers and have classes of 30 to save money.

Do better on the SAT....don't offer classes that teach expository writing, which they'll need in college.


Make students responsible, dependable workers .... cut the dean of students so there are no consequences.

We are not making sense! How do we improve education by cutting teachers, eliminating paras, or dumping 30 kids in a room?
Maybe we should take a long look at the top-heaviness of the administration.

The buck stops on Mitch Daniel's desk, folks! Start lobbying for educational funding that has been diverted into Mitch's run for the White House!

Anonymous said...

When has it EVER been about the kids? Teachers (most) live by those words, aministrators and law makers do not. We have the money to keep teaching jobs. Use it.

Anonymous said...

Everyone needs to write your state legislators(Dave Wolkins & Ryan Mishler)and tell them they have cut too deeply. Funding schools has got to be a top priority, whether through rainy day funds, or building/transport monies, or whatever it takes. It all starts with good teachers, it's crazy to cut there. Milford alone is losing four great teachers and Mr. Conner. TERRIBLE! They listen to constituents. Email today!

Anonymous said...

I am a teacher for Wawasee School Corp. I can't speak for others, but I myself would do a "pay freeze". I am here for these kids, I'm here because I love what I do and know I make a difference. I want what is best for our kids the whole way around...even if that means me making some sacrifices (as in no pay raise).

Anonymous said...

The first place that you need to look is at Admin. What support positions could be terminated? I hate to see anyone lose their job but when it comes to support positions vs. teacher positions I choose support postions to be terminated. Look at office supplies, maybe new contracts. There is a ton of money that can be saved just there alone. Also can fuel contracts be renegotiated now that gas prices are lower? My son in the 3rd grade and struggles every year. How is adding more kids to each class room going to help him get through high school?

Anonymous said...

Please address this "rainy day" fund. How much is it? Where is it? What can it be used for?

Please keep students top priority!

Anonymous said...

Make the tough decisions that have been available for years.

1. Offer choice but stop busing to other schools.
2. Orchestra program.
3. Elementary art is a luxury.
4. Woodworking at the middle school.
5. Eliminate Asst Prin. at Middle schools.
6. Less Admin. and people involved in admin. Focus on teachers.
7. Guidance should be available but maybe not full time.
8. Gym Reviewed. Recess at elemnetary levels could be sufficient.
9. Reduce the Doctorate level pay grade. Stop paying people for chart work.
10. Stop providing a huge incentive for Master's Degree. Rarely is a teacher better because they have a master's degree.
11. Offer and HSA for health benefits but an onsite clinic doesn't make sense for an employee base this small. Be honest with this stuff.
12. Stop hiring two coaches for many sports.
13. Teachers used to do extra curricular activities without extra pay. Free entry to events is no cost benefit.
14. Don't even think about building a new school. Seperate fund or not, it is still taxpayer money.
15. Review the need for federal funds, we don't need their control. As a taxpayer, I would be willing to pay a few more cents to the general fund if you make many of the above decisions but status quo is not acceptable.
16. I have more ideas and would reinforce many of the ideas already provided.
17. Put a Warsaw style Teachers Union in place and that will save the teachers $600 per year.
18. Raise the low end teacher's pay to a 40,000 minimum and cap the pay at $60,000 regardless of experience level or education.
19. Stop paying money for teachers to retire. Face the fact that you will never get ahead of that game.
20. Consider every expense as if it were your own business and not a government entity using taxpayer dollars.
21. Fair pay and benefit costs are the key. You don't need to cut all the programs but you have to address these tough issues.

Anonymous said...

Wow. The above stated has some great ideas (except that many sports have many more than 2 coaches) But GREAT ideas! I like the fringe benefits ideas for teachers...things that shouldn't cost the corp money...give all teachers and their immeidate family members green/gold cards instead of paying them to work...what about free lunhces??? Could they even possibly 'earn' days off? I don't know if that's even anything that can be done, but...
And, I agree...look hard at those 'at the top' and in admin.
And, yes, STOP TALKING ABOUT BUILDING NEW SCHOOLS OR DOING RENNOVATING!

Anonymous said...

Dr Edington, I have a question. Is there any where we can see exactly how many are employed at each building? Broken down between admin, teachers, secretaries, custodians, cooks, etc? I heard there were 8 secretaries at corporate office. Is that true or an exaggeration?

Anonymous said...

I agree with many of the comments above. This school system has been wasting money for so long that they don't even realize it anymore. I think that cuts should start with administrators, the perks that they receive should be taken away (free health insurance and such). How many administrative secretaries are teaching the students anything? There are too many employees in the administraton office. When passing by the schools I see "repair" company trucks, if the school is using outside companies to do repairs why do we have 3 maintenance people on the school payroll? The fat should be cut from the top and teachers should be left alone. Also why do the head custodians and maintenance people have to drive the school trucks home. I have heard about this rainy day fund and the excess money in transportation funds, just because there is an excess amount in these funds, that money should not be wasted, and cuts should be made in those areas also. If money is being wasted there then you know that tons of money is also being wasted in the general fund. Do we want to be known as a school corporation where students get a good education and graduate, or a school corporation that owns alot of "stuff" and wastes alot of money?

Anonymous said...

I am not sure, but there used to be a "data" person employed at the central office. I really don't think that position is necessary.

The elementary teachers receive 30 minutes of prep a day. Why do the middle school and high school teachers receive soooo much more? Elementary teachers need to prep for all subjects while the upper grade teachers only teach one subject. Cut the prep time and you may eliminate a teaching position without eliminating any instructional time.

Central office can be streamlined.

Could we have central bus stops for subdivisions enabling a driver to run more than one route? For example, town kids have to walk a mile to school yet each child in Fox Run gets picked up at his/her door. The bus could stop at the entrance of Fox Run and pick all the children up saving quite a bit of time and then the bus driver could make another run.

The elementary counselor should not be cut! That would be detrimental to all students. Now, I don't think the high school counselors even know the kids' names. I have two kids at WHS and as far as I can see get no benefits from the high school counselors. No help with making schedules, etc.

Anonymous said...

I think that PE instruction is very important to the health & safety of the children & teenagers. Indiana's statistics on adult & child obesity alone are enough to show that we need to focus on helping teach our children enjoyable & safe ways of increasing their activity level, not minimizing it.

Please don't reduce PE time at any grade level!

Anonymous said...

Dr Edington...could you please try to stop some of the rampid rumors (or I guess possibly confirm)?
First...rumor right now has it that the corp is eliminating ALL sports that don't bring in money...which means putting wawasee down to only FB and Basketball. What about keeping kids off streets and out of trouble? Sports help with that. What about all the sports that have put trophy after trophy in our cases, giving us recognition, getting kids scholarhips...unlike FB and Bsktbl...how long has it been since they've had winning seasons?
Please inform us on this...

Or that the school is more concerned about rennovations...
Talk of adding more schools...
Talk of making kids walk...
etc.etc.etc.

I think y ou either need to post some truth here, or hold a public meeting

Anonymous said...

Nothing to do with the budget but are there still going to be same gender classes for students my kids really like having them because there are less distractions during class. They also said it would be very nice if there were same gender PE classes.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone watch CNN last night? It really helped with "understanding" the situations schools are in ACROSS THE NATION. This is NOT just a Wawasee situation. However, I too wish someone would put an end or give an answer to all the rumors going around! Especially the ones involving our sports. Please won't someone explain why there is not a gymnastics team or what's happening with the other sports and why?

Anonymous said...

There is a misstatement above. Someone said that elementary teachers receive 30 minutes for preparation each day. The contract requires that all teachers be given 225 minutes per week. While that is not nearly enough time to do the work that is needed, it does provide teachers with some paid time recognition of all the work that must be done when students are not present.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Edington-- So you know, I am just one of several in the community (that I know of) that are aware of needs for secretaries and administrators (in buildings or in central office.) I know these people are necessary for the day-to-day communication with parents/community and also for focusing on compliance issues. Without these people, the lack of attention to these issues would surely "trickle down" and make it more challenging for teachers just to focus on managing their classroom and teaching kids. Everyone with "an axe to grind" will have an endless number of suggestions to cut staff or suggest that staff take pay cuts. My guess would be that most of those making these recommendations haven't spent one day walking in those shoes and would be some of the first to decide they wouldn't do the job for what those positions pay currently. You and every staff member are continuously challenged to do more with less. I don't envy your job or the decisions you have to make. Thank you to you and all WCSC staff for their public service to kids! I wish you the best of luck and want you to know that I'm praying for all affected by these budget cuts...including students and parents!

Anonymous said...

Again, Milford Elem has been hit way too hard... too bad you couldnt have distributed the cuts a little better. Guess we should be used to it... Milford is the " have not's " and Syracuse and Webster are the " have's " Its too bad.

Anonymous said...

Sigh.. It is so clear to see after reading all of these comments who really has a clue what is going on. Listen, any decisions that are made are going to negatively effect someone. It is not an easy task. Do I think teachers/staff should be evaluated based on efficiency? OF COURSE. However, there is no fair way to due that based on grade levels or subjects taught. Do I believe some teachers get too much prep time while some get far less? OF COURSE. If you don't realize this , you obviously are blind. I don't think people should justify eliminating certain subjects deeming them "less relevant"..Each subject taught in schools is of equal importance to help fully educate these students. Maybe one day, "the system" will allow that schools never have to deal with these situations, rather than cutting based on seniority (even if some of the younger teachers are more "on fire" than "burned out" veterans just holding on)..Just have faith in Dr. Edington as he and the corporation make their decisions the best way they know how without causing too much disruption to the students.

Anonymous said...

Again, it is really sad that they hang on to teachers who yah... may have been here forever, but are they really doing their job? Then, the great teachers who have only been here for a short time get cut when they are doing their job better.

Anonymous said...

As someone who has lived in this corporation my whole life (even when it was Lakeland Community Schools!) I feel very strongly about this issue.
I was active in athletics all through school, and enjoyed them very much. However, schools are about EDUCATING, not athletics. If even one quality educator (paraprofessionals included!) loses their position while athletic coaches remain on payroll, it would show just how backward this corporation has become.

What about pay to play athletics? Other schools have utilized this to make ALL athletic teams self-sufficient. No money from the general fund should be given to any athletic team while educators lose their job.

This corporation does not need 2 pools and the associated utilities.

How many athletic directors are necessary?

What about charging for any and all use of school facilities? This would include ALL extra-curricular activities. All sports clubs, all school sports teams, all leisure clubs and associations, all community use of facilities period.

The bottom line is that schools are about EDUCATION, not athletics.

Anonymous said...

Wawasee's free/reduced lunch numbers have increased greatly over the past few years. Students need athletics...even keeps some students in school. If we'd go to a pay to play format for athletics, what would happen to those who couldn't afford to pay to play?

Anonymous said...

45% of our corporation's students are free and reduced lunch. Nearly half our students would be in jeopardy of not being able to play sports if they were charged to play.

Anonymous said...

So to be clear..you would rather see teachers fired than have to pay a fee to play an EXTRA-CURRICULAR (which means outside of the normal curriculum of school) activity?

Anonymous said...

Dedicated staff members -- administrators, teachers, paraprofessionals, secretaries, cooks, custodians, bus drivers, and all others -- are what make a difference. As we understand, the state is choosing to cut funding by 1.3 million dollars. The school corporation has 3.3 million sitting in a rainy day fund. It seems that this is that rainy day. Keep all the staff members. They contribute to the well-being and the education of the students. They all play important roles. It should be about the students and doing what will best help them succeed.

Anonymous said...

Someone commented about athletic and club coach salaries previously. According to the "AGREEMENT between WAWASEE COMMUNITY SCHOOL CORPORATION and WAWASEE COMMUNITY EDUCATORS ASSOCIATION" Appendix G, the total salaries for "EXTRA CURRICULAR 2009-2010" positions for the corporation range from a minimum of $389,725 to a maximum of $413,100, depending on tenure. This does not cover the entire $1.3 million shortfall, but I would say it covers a very large portion.

Anonymous said...

What about offering early retirement to those teachers who are within 3-4 years of retirement. Would reduce overall payroll and benefits. Remaining classes could be spread among remaining teachers.

There are much more important factors than tenure in deciding which teachers are retained. Things such as innovations in teaching methods, additional training completed, parent input and student enthusiasm are hard to measure, but incredibly valueable. The same class taught by 2 different teachers can be a completely different experience for a student from one day to the next. What is best for the STUDENTS needs to always be at the forefront of decisions, not what is best for the TEACHERS.

When I have been in Milford Elementary to help with classes, I have to wear short sleeves in the winter due to overheating, it seems the classroom temperature could be reduced to save on utilities, not to mention helping to keep germs at bay.

Also, the classroom supply list for some items seemed excessive, maybe there are other ways that parents can contribute to the classroom expenses other than supplying 20 glue sticks per student?

Anonymous said...

Children need to graduate as well rounded individuals. Sports, music, art, clubs, etc. are all part of an education. Making the students pay to play will eliminate some students. I do think that some coaching staff could be eliminated, but not all. (Did we pay a freshman basketball coach when there were not enough players to make a freshman team?)

I do think that all of those that voted for Mitch are questioning your decision now. If you had researched, this is no surprise. He does not believe in public schools. He has stated he would not mind seeing them fail and another system be put in place. I wonder how this will effect the these kids? Will we see the long term effects for years to come? I hope not.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps someone has hit on something here. Maybe instead of us squabbling over athletics and extracurriculars and bus routes we look at the source of this problem. We are faced with watering down our education, an essential service. Our community provides one of the highest tax bases in the state, but yet much of that tax base goes to educate children outside our community. Perhaps it is time we start to put pressure across this state to guys like Mr. Mishler and other state legislators to find someplace else to cut the budget. What about state automobile fleets? What about some cuts from the governor's office? What about state employees taking pay cuts or even scaling back their benefit packages? Why should our children take the hit? Especially our children in this community where our children get less of a benefit from our hard earned tax dollars than do places like Carmel and Indianapolis! Instead of bickering among ourselves, why do we not unite across this state and tell our government officials they work for us and demand they cut the money someplace else? After all, Mitch has little sympathy for public schools and presses real hard for charter schools which under perform at alarming statistics. Why is he so interested in charter schools? Because the state does not have to fund or fully fund them.

My friends, we are going about this the wrong way and it is about time that our corporation administrators start fighting for our kids by organizing our communities across this state into a coalition to strike back at the arrogance in Indianapolis. Our superintendents across the state should earn their salary not by cutting, but by organizing against the cuts....there is no more powerful voice than a group of voters willing to switch their vote. This is where the fight is, not in Syracuse, Milford, or North Webster...but across this state. Find someplace else to cut. How important is education to these politicians really? It is the first place they looked to cut. And, Mitch is not done either. He is going to put us through this again next December as well.

Anonymous said...

AMEN!!!!! But, you know, WE have a voice and don't need the superintendents to do that. PARENTS have a huge voice...join us and SPEAK OUT!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Has anyone mentioned the August registration process?

I have had children attending Wawasee Schools for 22 years and the registration process at any of the schools has never appeared particularly efficient.

I am sure with some brainstorming we could eliminate some cost from the current process. It would be worth our time to inquire as to registration methods in other school corporations throughout Indiana. Other corporations may accomplish student registration with procedures requiring less staff/hours.

Perhaps we need to reconsider the entire process which we have used for many years.

Anonymous said...

Most staff at registration are volunteering that time. We do not get paid for that.

Anonymous said...

There are many times that staff members put in time and don't get paid...registration being a big one. Another, parent night that is coming up next week...we don't get paid for that either. I think it would be hard for anyone to find a teacher that ONLY puts in their required "time". (Even if they do leave the building "on time", I'm sure they have school stuff they are doing at home)

Anonymous said...

It is obvious that Milford Elementary will be taking the biggest hit here. First of all let me start out by saying that you have a few teachers there that have no business being teachers! The cut should START THERE. When you speak with other parents and find out that your concern about a teacher or teachers are one of the same, it is evident there is a PROBLEM! If the suggestion is to eliminate Mr. Conner, BAD choice!
Second, a 4-day week could be considered.
Third, bus service needs to be looked at. I see many empty buses in the morning. Big waste of money if not being utilized.

Anonymous said...

A 4-day week sounds wonderful, but the state mandates 180 days, no matter if we attend four days a week or five. I don't think anyone really want to be in school all summer! :)

Anonymous said...

Get on your computer and email your legislators....write them letters,..... call them.... Americans are not easily ignored when they sound off about subjects close to their hearts!

There are FEW of us in the community who really know who is a good teacher, who has a lousy class, who is not trying..... viewpoints vary and consider the sourse. I don't like my math class, so my math teacher sucks? Let's get real and start supporting our educators!

Anonymous said...

I think that we need to look at the orchestra as a possible place to cut. Dr. Dubach has a doctorate and teaches very few students making a very high ratio of dollars per student spent. I was involved in the orchestra program at Wawasee as a student and so were some of my children. While we enjoyed the program, we could have just as easily been involved in band or taken lessons outside of the school program if desired. I have no doubt that Dr. Dubach is a talented professioinal but in terms of dollars spent, this is not an effecient use of our money.
Mr. Connor touches many more lives positively for less money.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with the above comment. Amen to that! Along with the orchestra, there is no way that one teacher can handle the whole school music program and be a sucess. We need to keep Mrs. Zimmerman here!

Anonymous said...

There is talk about having to pay for our kids to play sports... that is already happening! we are paying a high dollar amount for our son to play baeball... ridiculous. How about asking the parents how they feel?

Anonymous said...

There is help available. Check with the coach or Mary Hurley. The coaches quietly help out with tough situations when needed.

Anonymous said...

The paraprofessionals get paid sick and personal days, but not vacation pay and you use it or you lose it. They have a week off unpaid for spring break, but have 4 paid days to use at other times by noon. When they call off from a 5 hour shift, they are replaced by a sub for 8 hours and the subs get paid more than the paras do, so you are now paying twice for that day. Can the bus paras work during the day in the schools or the school paras be the bus paras as well? Can a 3 hour para position be split between 3 5 hour paras giving them 6 hours a day. This cuts back on hiring more people which costs time and money training, interviewing, drug tests, employee taxes, etc. Can you rent out the schools for birthday parties and other celebrations? I had heard the middle school has a planetarium and an olymipic size indoor pool, they all have cafeterias and gyms and elementaries have playgounds. Allow faculty to eat lunch with the children instead of paying them to do lunch duty and then they take a lunch break later. Some teenagers suggested to me that you have more fundraisers that sell more things that kids would want to buy and at lower costs. Have more bake sales. Change materials with other schools when tired of them, instead of buying new items. There seems to be a lot of food and paper wasted.

Anonymous said...

1) School Board Pay Cuts 2) Administrative Pay Cuts Across the Board (1-3%), 3) Front Office Assistant Admin's can be cut from 2-3 people down to one person.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Edington - very frusterated... why is Milford being picked on and totally changed when we are the school with the highest scores and Wawasee Middle School seems to be the one with the most issues. Maybe you need to be more focused on the messes over there. Seems like they need it more than we do. Again, its a matter of Milford being the " have nots " of the bunch. Very sad.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Edington - Maybe you need to be focusing on getting the Wawasee Middle straightened up instead of going to Milford and making so many changes there. After all, Milford does have higher scores than Wawasee. There are many issues over there that need to be addressed, but instead Milford seems to be getting the blow. Maybe you all need to take a look on who needs to be worked with more... Milford or Wawasee Middle? Milford has always been the " have nots " and as a superintendant, you would think that you would not want that for your school system.

Anonymous said...

Was at the school board meeting last night and it was so discouraging. The school board has already made their mind up without considering any of the Milford opinions. They are oviously for the Wawasee Middle School. Its too bad b/c they are not thinking of the kids at all and not putting them first.