GREENCASTLE -- South Putnam Community Schools Superintendent Bruce Bernhardt spoke about the 2010 budget, capital projects plan and school bus replacement plan during the school board meeting Monday.
A public hearing for the budgets was on the meeting's agenda. Following an invitation to the crowd to speak, Bernhardt explained how schools and the state arrive at the budget numbers.
He said the published tax rates are never final or accurate because it is a guess until the state gives its assessed value. The rates, he explained, can be lowered but not raised, so the advertised numbers may seem ridiculously high.
No one in the crowd came forward with questions or comments on the advertised budget. The board has set Oct. 5 as the meeting date for final approval of the budget before it is sent to the state.
The board heard from its transportation director Chuck Shaffer on the new Versatrans routing program. He also gave an update on the 2008-09 school year.
School bus drivers drove more than 342,000 miles last school year and had no accidents or damage to any bus. Shaffer was very proud of this fact.
He also said the corporation saved $74,945 in fuel expenditure with a total spending of more than $95,000 in fuel for the 2008-2009 school year.
In other news:
* Bernhardt told board members the corporation could be down approximately 40 students again this school year.
School board vice-president Nancy Wells asked Bernhardt if there was a pattern in the declining numbers, such as a particular school.
Bernhardt responded, "No, it is spread out over the schools and even grade levels."
The official enrollment numbers have not been calculated.
* Board president Michael Rissler urged the crowd to make calls to state legislatures regarding professional development for teachers. He said the budget for such things has been cut nearly in half.
"Our teachers need our support," he added.
* Board members and Bernhardt signed a statement of support for the Indiana Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.
*Board members voted to make old sewing machines in the Family and Consumer Science department surplus equipment. This action is needed so the school can dispose of the machines, which have been replaced.
* The personnel report was accepted by the board. It included:
Elaine Bye, high school math teacher, maternity leave from Nov. 5 to Dec. 18
Penny Long, Fillmore Elementary spell bowl, resignation
Wendy Danner, Fillmore Elementary spell bowl, new hire