CLOVERDALE -- With the 2009 session of the General Assembly underway, schools are worried about funding, transportation costs and potential fiscal impacts, among other things.
Superintendent Carrie Milner shared a summary of Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents legislative priorities during the school board meeting Monday night.
The IAPSS outlines six priorities facing Indiana school corporations.
There is some talk about consolidation among schools with fewer than 1,000 students. The IAPSS feels any discussion towards consolidation should be research based.
Milner said Cloverdale "doesn't fall into that category (of consolidation)."
The IAPSS, of which Milner is a committee member, places funding as number one priority in legislation. Full-day kindergarten is especially at the top of the list.
Cloverdale currently offers full-day kindergarten and will continue to offer it even with the possibility of a flat lined budget. A grant and stipend have been put in place to continue funding kindergarten.
Hopes are that full-day kindergarten will receive full student count in the ADM base for funding.
While gas prices have gone down, school corporations may increase transportation costs by more than the five percent cap to compensate for the rising cost of fuel.
"In our case," said Milner, "our current activities are fully funded."
Other concerns included fully funding all required programs and to realize the state's goal of moving dollars to instruction. The IASPP states, "Government action is needed to protect the general fund from being negatively impacted by circuit breaker legislation."
The potential fiscal impacts could mean allowing school district employees who are employed on a school-year basis to be paid on a 12-month basis. School districts that already do so should not be subject to damages.
Dan Sulkoske presented school board members with preliminary plans for remodeling the high school locker rooms. Plans include a few more showers in the boy's locker room and additional storage in the girl's locker room. Privacy issues are being addressed in the plans.
Changes "may not happen in one summer," said Milner.
The challenge is bringing the showers up to code and providing handicap accessibility -- something the current locker rooms do not have.
Among changes, the 2009-2010 school calendars may look a little different.
In an effort to give unity to local school systems, start and end dates will be the same. The schools are looking at a start date of Aug. 12 or later. There will also be four snow days planned instead of three.
The middle school may be receiving a baseball team.
Superintendent Carrie Milner said the issue has yet to be brought before the school board. There are contract issues which are being looked at, she continued.
Contract negotiations are in the works and Milner promises to "move quickly."
The project is in the discussion stage only.
The board addressed changes in personnel. Rachel Varnes will be the middle school special education instructional assistant. Tia Brummett will transfer from the middle school food service to elementary/middle school custodian. Erin Sinclair, high school receptionist and athletic secretary, will be taking her maternity leave. Charles Mowery will be the varsity softball coach at the high school.
Milner announced she would be attending the ISBA Winter Board Member Academy Jan. 23 and said other board members were invited.
Under policy 7440 plant security, electronic surveillance cameras have been placed at the front doors of the schools.
Just before the meeting adjourned, Sonny Stoltz, Cloverdale High School principal, thanked the board for new bells and intercom system.
"They give a pleasant sound and provide a pleasant atmosphere," Stoltz said.
The high school went four to five weeks without passing periods, an intercom system and at times, e-mail.