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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Finances remain a struggle for GCSC

Thursday, August 13, 2009

GREENCASTLE -- Tough financial times are leading to some tough decisions for the Greencastle Community School Corporation.

At Wednesday's meeting of the school board, Superintendent Dr. Robert Green reported the size of this year's first grade class might necessitate hiring an additional teacher. While Green might normally move ahead with hiring the teacher, he is concerned with the economics of adding another staff member.

"The budget problem is putting a spotlight on this. We're making decisions based on dollars, not on kids, but I have to watch the dollars," Green said.

At this time, there will likely be 24 students in each section of first grade. While the administration wants to lower that number, Green does not want to hire an additional teacher, which comes at an expense of $50,000, including benefits, if it is unnecessary.

While board members shared his concerns, one in particular also expressed his wishes to see the students served properly.

"I think our first role is to educate kids, and I know from talking to parents of that class that the situation was not ideal last year," said board member Kelly Lewis.

After discussion, the board granted Green permission to hire another instructor if necessary. However, the need may also be filled with two teacher's aides if possible.

The decision will be made based on the number of kids who are actually present on the first day of school Tuesday.

One other concern in this matter is the possibility of adding a section of the class is moving kids from one school to the other. Because the first grade problem exists at both Deer Meadow and Ridpath, some students would likely have to change schools if a new section was added.

"There would probably have to be some juggling across districts," said Assistant Superintendent Dawn Puckett.

While all agreed this situation isn't ideal, there seem to be no other options.

As in most months of late, Green said the financial report contained good news and bad news.

While the corporation still owes money on temporary loans for the debt service, capital projects and transportation funds, all loans will be paid down as tax monies are received. All are due to be paid off by Dec. 31.

"We're kind of hopeful that we might see our June tax draw by the end of September, and maybe we can pay those off," Green said.

GMS Principal and School Safety Specialist Shawn Gobert was questioned on the school's preparedness for H1N1 flu this fall. He said school nurses are scheduled to meet with the health department on Friday. After that, Gobert, Green and the nurses will meet to determine a plan for the year.

"I want to make sure we're all on the same page as to whose role would be what. We want to make sure we're as prepared as we can be for anything that comes," Gobert said.

He also said the health department should have enough immunizations available for all students and school staff members in the county. These would be voluntary.

Regarding the transfer policy discussed in recent months, the board voted to charge $100 per semester tuition for out-of-district students who enroll prior to count day.

The board passed 27 personnel items, which included the hirings of Kellie Weller as athletic trainer, Camie Hopper as second grade teacher at Deer Meadow, Susan Gillen as elementary Title I/reading recovery teacher at Deer Meadow, Jennifer Schlatter as temporary Title I teacher at Deer Meadow, Denise Davies and Kari Schimpf as temporary teachers to fill maternity leaves and David Roberts as part time gratis instructor of Chemistry II at GHS.

The board also approved the resignation of Trish Lowe as GHS volleyball coach, effective at the end of the 2009-10 school year.

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With all the extra money STOLEN from us for the book rental fees They should be able to hire several teachers! I would just like to know what is listed as "other fees" are actually for? Along with class fees and "parking fees" for High School Students. Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't Greencastle a PUBLIC School, not private?

-- Posted by Greencastlesad on Thu, Aug 13, 2009, at 11:16 AM

How about only having 1 Superintentdent for Putnam County instead of 4? This seems like a big waste of money to me. There are several school systems that are alot bigger than all of Putnam County with only one Superintentdent and by the way, They are Better schools for the children.(More teachers, better education, more extracirricular activities and a whole lot cheaper).

-- Posted by Bears88 on Thu, Aug 13, 2009, at 11:57 AM

I would like to know what "other fees" are also. Almost $250.00 for a Junior student this year. 1/2 OF THESE FEES JUST SAY "OTHER". Then extra class fees(supposed workbooks) and $5.00 for class dues??? Wonder if they charge for riding your bike to school also? Come on people WAKE UP!!! Putnam County Schools are really screwing us over!

Why do we have 4 Superintentdents?

-- Posted by David S on Thu, Aug 13, 2009, at 12:14 PM

Okay I totally agree with one super for the whole county. I felt like I was raped and beat up after I went and paid for school books. They do not need assistant supers either!! Looks like most the Greencastle teachers live pretty well or least try to look they are, some have house cleaners and brag like they are in a contest with each. I got a contest for you see who can really teach our kids!! People honestly can not afford to send their kids to school! I felt like I was going to throw up when I heard how much the books where then they push yearbooks and parking passes and boosters and sports passes.I feel like we the parents are paying for a good education lets get our money worth!!!!

-- Posted by savethekids on Thu, Aug 13, 2009, at 3:05 PM

I have asked around about the poor financial shape and tight budget problem at GCSC.A few have mentioned a small tax base in the city,some say the college buying up houses has eroded that base and some say spending priority is a key.Any thoughts? It seems other schools are doing better(tax monies wise) and spending more.Cloverdale is spending money all the time (often on less than wise things,)and South has its priorities out of wack.Is Greencastle not spending wisely or not drawing funds well?Anyone have any info?

-- Posted by honestyisbestpolicy on Thu, Aug 13, 2009, at 6:59 PM

If you don't recognize what a great school system we have in Greencastle, then I'd bet you haven't had any experiences with other schools. We - parents, teachers, kids, community - have it so good here, compared to other places both near and far. I paid over $200 in fees for my high school student and was GLAD! Where else can you get a decent education, provided by decent people, for your kid for that kind of money? Oh, and if you think our taxes are high, then you definitely have not lived anywhere else of note. Practice gratitude. You'll feel much better.

-- Posted by sneakers on Thu, Aug 13, 2009, at 7:15 PM

Obviously sneakers must work for the school system. Yes, our taxes are TO HIGH, yes,0ver $200 in fees are way to high. I myself spent $230 which does not include parking, sports, ect. Yes I have lived in other places (Born here, moved away, came back...what was I thinking?). Indiana is only 1 of 5 states that charge book rental fees for PUBLIC SCHOOLS. Go figure???

Greencastles philosophy: Get rid of the poor and middle class and keep the RICH. Always has been and always will be.

-- Posted by Greencastle09 on Fri, Aug 14, 2009, at 11:42 AM

I am not sure my kids will get a quality education in the Greencastle School System. I was ok with it unitl they pulled away from ONT. My son is a special needs kid. Everyone that has worked with him and that he is familiar with will be replaced by new people.That is stressful for a child like him. And greencastle thinks they can save money by hiring in all new specialists but cannot afford to hire a new teacher for the first grade. Doesn't make sense does it? How can two teachers aides possibly fill the place of a educated,qualified teacher?

-- Posted by citizenoftheworld on Fri, Aug 14, 2009, at 6:04 PM

To everyone complaining about the cost of school books just forget about sending your children to college. The cost of most college books are $150.00 on up (that is per book). This is your childs education isn't your child worth it? The school system could use your support not your complaining.

-- Posted by Just_Me on Fri, Aug 14, 2009, at 10:13 PM

Wow -- I don't know why anyone chooses to go into education anymore. I teach in this community, and I'm proud of our school system. I went to a crappy school, so I do have a point of reference. By the way, here is the difference between too, to and two. If I make TOO much money, then how is it that I can only afford TO go TO the store TWO times a month? I'm still waiting TO afford my housekeeper.

-- Posted by outragededucator on Sat, Aug 15, 2009, at 4:58 AM

to smaller gov now and Greencastle09: you don't need to have graduated from a school or work for a school to recognize when schools are doing a good job with our kids. If either of you has invested the thousands of dollars needed to obtain a teaching license, and is willing to perform the needed services for the salary offered, I would defy you to do better than our school employees. If you want something in this life you have to pay for it. You can't have low taxes, no book rental fees and a high quality education. Take your pick. No, I didn't graduate from GHS, and no, I don't work there. Please take your constructive criticism to the school board and leave folks out of it who are doing the best jobs they know how to do.

-- Posted by sneakers on Sat, Aug 15, 2009, at 10:24 PM

To smaller_gov_now . You are correct you can buy used college books. I just purchased one.That one book cost more than what the book fee was for my seventh grader for an entire year. Don't give me the college buy back argument either because that is a joke.It is a part of education pay it quit whining and try to be HAPPY.

-- Posted by Just_Me on Sun, Aug 16, 2009, at 2:21 PM

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