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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Schroeder leaving S. Putnam for post at Clay Community

Friday, June 9, 2006

After a school year plagued with teacher layoffs and financial strife, South Putnam Supt. Dan Schroeder confirmed Friday he will be accepting a new job with Clay Community Schools after only one year with South Putnam.

"I don't want to go into the particulars, but it has been a difficult year," Schroeder told the BannerGraphic Friday. "Any time you are dealing with financial difficulties in the school business, 85-90 percent of your budget is personnel. When you have to deal with a reduction in force and people's livelihoods, it is very difficult."

This spring, nine full-time teachers were issued reduction in force (RIF) notices and several more were issued part-time reductions. Also, school officials dealt with numerous concerns from local residents who faced heavy increases in property taxes.

However, it seems there may be more teacher-administration conflicts yet to come in Clay County.

The Brazil Times reports that at Thursday's Clay Community Schools board meeting at which Schroeder was hired, teachers spoke up in outrage over the administrator's new contract.

"They keep telling us 'we don't have any money, we don't have any money,' and then they vote (unanimously) to spend $650,000 on one man in the next five years," said Russ True, president of the Clay County Classroom Teacher's Association. "This is just going to add to the hard feelings and animosity that so many teachers are feeling right now. Dr. Schroeder's five-year contract package includes a salary of $110,000 per year, a $20,000 benefit package and a paid teacher's retirement plan."

The details of the contract are a "slap in the face for teachers, who, as of June 1, started their fourth year without a contract settlement," True said.

If there is one bright light that has come out of his year at South Putnam, Schroeder said, the school is now set on the right track financially and he expects several the teachers will be called back.

"If (South Putnam) stays the course, their structural deficit will be eliminated, at least for the foreseeable future," he said. "It is hard to see what the state might do in relation to new monies, but for now, the structural deficit will be eliminated."

Schroeder told the BannerGraphic details about his transition between the two corporations will have to be worked out with South Putnam school board members. The Brazil Times reported that his contract with Clay County Schools begins July 1.

At Clay Community Schools, he will be charged with overseeing Northview High School Clay City Jr.-Sr. High School, North Clay Middle School and seven elementary schools.

Schroeder has 11 years of school administration experience. Before coming to South Putnam, he served as superintendent in Hanover, Ind.

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