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Cloverdale schools deal with Daniels' funding cuts

Monday, January 11, 2010

CLOVERDALE -- Cloverdale School Corporation has taken its step in dealing with the general fund shortfall from the state. The state took over the general fund operating costs for public schools beginning in 2009.

In December 2009, Gov. Mitch Daniels announced all schools would share evenly in nearly $300 million in statewide funding cuts.

Daniels said the state would cut $297 million to K-12 schools this year, with the reduction applied evenly to all school corporations using the current funding formula beginning this month. The reduction amounts to 3.5 percent of current state funding for the schools.

During Cloverdale's school board meeting Monday, members approved an appropriation reduction resolution, which will reduce the operation and maintenance of plant service fund by $481,159.

The governor wants schools to make the cuts without laying off teachers. A statement released by Daniels stated if the new revenue forecast proves accurate, the K-12 reductions, coupled with the previous cuts of state agencies and the use of more, if not all, of the state's rainy day reserves, will keep Indiana in the black through the next 18 months.

K-12 spending is half of the state's budget or about $6.5 billion annually. Daniels has said education reductions were a last resort and every other area would be trimmed first.

Given the budgetary news from the state, Superintendent Carrie Milner was pleased to announce Cloverdale was one of 23 schools awarded a technology grant.

The $108,038 grant will be used for hardware, software and professional development, Milner said. There will be a focus on math and science for fourth through eighth graders.

Cloverdale partnered with Greencastle School Corporation, which will receive nearly $69,000, for the grant.

"It betters our chances to have a partner school," Milner said. "We are excited and Greencastle is excited."

In other business:

* Milner announced there are minor problems, such as a frozen Univent and faulty irrigation system, with the new greenhouse. She said the corporation wouldn't be releasing any money until the problems are resolved.

* Milner urged board members to review Indiana's Race to the Top reform plan or Fast Forward. She said she didn't know the amount of money schools would be receiving from the plan.

"It's an important decision," she told board members.

The idea behind RttT is to prepare students for success in college and the workplace and to compete in the global economy by adopting a common set of high-quality K-12 standards.

* Board members voted to approve the personnel as follows:

Other -- Meganne Holley as first grade teacher replacement; Katina Wetter as part-time interventionist and part-time high ability; Jenna Nichols as full-time elementary teacher aide; and Tricia Scott as part-time Title I teacher aide from a substitute aide.

Employment -- David Northam as Knoy Middle School Vex robotics and engineering; Heather Speedy as Knoy Elementary instructional aide as needed; and Chris Elsbrock as job coach

Allyn Anderson was approved for a maternity leave the second semester of the 2009-2010 school year.

Retirement -- Keena Matthews.

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-- Posted by localman on Tue, Jan 12, 2010, at 9:53 PM

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