Cost reductions inevitable at Smith-Green

Seventy-five percent of the way through the calendar year, the corporation has spent 76.2percent of the general fund and 72.9 percent of the transportation fund, according to Fleetwood.

With $5.79 million in expenses through September, revenue is trailing at $5.56 million.

Despite a bleak outlook for 2013, Fleetwood said the corporation does have resources to draw from if need be, including a projected cash balance in December 2012 of $223,000 due to a full day kindergarten grant, a certificate of deposit and the rainy day fund.  

With Average Daily Membership (ADM), the driving factor for state funding, on a continual decline, Fleetwood said he will propose additional cost-saving measures at the next Board meeting. The corporation is still coming up short after putting the cost-reduction plan into place due to an ADM that is down 27 points since last year. Fleetwood added that an additional ADM count will take place in February, with revenue adjusting in July based on that count.

SGCS Interim Superintendent Ralph Bailey said that the corporation has tried to shy away from cutting staff, but it will most likely come down to that. The approved reduction plan that is currently in place did not propose staff cuts, but Bailey said there isn’t much left to cut.

In other Board news:

• The Board held a public work session prior to the regular meeting. During the work session, the Board discussed the procedure they plan to use to hire a superintendent. Ideally, the Board would like to hire a new superintendent by January 1, 2013, so they will begin interviews by mid-November and hope to make a decision by mid-December. The Board plans to gain input from SGCS staff and community members via meetings with staff, another public work session and possibly a public survey.

Additionally at the work session, the Board members present discussed the procedure to replace the two soon-to-be vacant school board seats. Board member Michael Sturgis is resigning from his position effective December 31, 2012. His term is up, but no one filed for election to replace him. Former CHS teacher Gary Smith is running unopposed on the ballot to fill the seat currently occupied by Rick Trump, who is not seeking reelection. However, Smith is no longer interested in the position. Therefore, the corporation’s attorney, Erik Weber, said that Smith will be elected and sworn in as a Board member on January 1, 2013. He may then resign at that time. The remaining Board members will have 30 days to fill the vacant seats.

• CJSHS Principal Jim Folland recognized Vanessa Wyss as the “Teacher of the Month.” Wyss is recognized for her contributions to “project-based learning” and her commitment to both the students and staff of CJSHS through her planning of extracurricular activities, social gatherings and technology workshops.

• The Board unanimously approved the following extracurricular positions for CJSHS for the 2012-13 school year: David Ruckman as 7th Grade Girls Basketball Coach with a yearly stipend of $1,240.50, Rick Hamilton, Jordan Hamilton and Derrick Roe as Westling Assistant Coaches at $1,000 apiece, and Kyle Reidling, Eric Harmon and Kyle Haber as voluntary wrestling assistant coaches.

• The Board accepted a $370 donation from HANDS foundation to CJSHS to be used for the purchase of 15 headsets with microphones and 25 flash drives for the eighth grade project-based learning project “Mind Your Business.” The Board also accepted $378 from the Churubusco Elementary PTO to purchase two gym mats for the Minds in Motion circuits.

The next regular scheduled Board meeting will be Monday, November 5 at 7 p.m.

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