GCSC offers retirement packages in preparation for budget loss

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

With state education budget changes, the Greencastle Community School Corporation is looking ahead in an attempt to offset potential losses by offering teacher retirement packages deemed a "win-win" for both teachers and the district.

"Changes in the funding formula seem to be imminent. The projected numbers by both the House and the Senate for Greencastle schools are that at best, our funding would become stagnant, and at worst we will see a loss beginning next year," Superintendent Dawn Puckett said Monday night at the board's monthly meeting.

"With that in mind, we are taking a hard look at how we might be able to reduce costs without in any way impacting staffing numbers.

"We are not gaining. We are one of those small group of schools in the state who are not going to benefit from the new funding formula."

Regardless of where the numbers come out, the district is offering teacher retirement packages that would include a one-time payment of $20,000.

The funds would be placed into a 401(a) account and are available for each of the 15 teachers currently eligible for retirement.

"If we were to offer a retirement package, the potential savings to us over four years, if everyone (eligible) took advantage of it, would be $354,642," Puckett explained.

The idea is that in the coming years, GCSC may be able to cut some of its expenses by having eligible teachers retire ahead of the budget cuts being implemented, rendering the payouts a fiscally responsible expenditure.

Teachers will be required to notify the board if they wish to accept the package by May 15 so that the board would be able to take action on the May 18 meeting.

Updates on summer construction projects and a number of personnel changes were discussed at the Greencastle Community School Corporation's monthly board meeting Monday night.

The renovations will not create a tax increase and will be paid by the recent acquisition of a $2 million bond issued by Old National Bank.

Projects will include renovations to Greencastle High School (GHS) restroom plumbing ($32, 404) and painting ($4,450); parking lot seal coating for all school parking lots ($59, 064); installation of an HVAC system at Greencastle Middle School (GMS) ($149,940) and McAnally Locker Room renovations ($136,401.).

The remainder of the $2 million dollar bond is slated for the already-approved acquisition and renovation for the administration offices to be relocated.

The new location is just over 10,000 square feet, houses 16 offices, a computer repair room, several conference areas, a heated warehouse for storage, parking and an existing technology infrastructure in a two-story building located across from GMS at 1002 Mill Pond Dr.

Additionally, the roof at Deer Meadow Elementary will be repaired as part of those projects although a cost has not yet been determined as the board approved permission to accept bids for the project at Monday's meeting.

All projects, including the administrative relocation, are scheduled to be completed over the summer.

In other business:

* The board approved a three-day field trip to Bradford Woods, to take place May 13-15.

* The board approved proposals for a summer technician assistant, a 1:1 instructional assistant and summer bus cleaning positions.

* The board approved the summer feeding program which provides free meals for all school-aged kids in Putnam County regardless of whether or not they attend GCSC. The program is funded by grant money.

* The board approved purchasing food service equipment for Tzouanakis Intermediate at a cost of $49,511.

* The board approved a state band field trip to Orlando, Fla.

* The board approved the monthly financial report, outlining total expenditures for the month of March at $1,738,065.

* The board approved numerous new hires for GHS, including Bradley Key as summer government teacher; Glenn Hile and Donovan Wheeler as summer economics teachers; Tabatha Briones as summer math teacher; Jana Boggess as summer algebra enrichment teacher; Jaime Carter as temporary instructional assistant; Bob Hedge as summer band teacher and Jackie Hicks as cafeteria assistant.

* For Tzouanakis, the board approved Lisa McCoy as fifth-grade high ability teacher; Wendi Evans as lead summer school teacher; Courtenay Hayes and Jennifer Miller as summer school teachers and Stephanie Hudson, Kim Rossock and Hannah Mitchell as summer instructional assistants.

* Also approved were substitute teachers Andrew Hollinger; Alan Small; Michelle Boller and Martha Scott.

* Drew Brothers was approved as temporary instructional assistant for Deer Meadow Primary.

* The board approved multiple athletic hires, including Paige Tesmer as varsity cheeleading coach for GHS; Jessica Casteel as junior-varsity cheerleading coach at GHS; Jimmy Beasley as assistant boys track coach for GMS; Diana Divine as spring athletic events manager for GHS; Lindsay Wagner as cheerleading coach at GMS and Lori Shuck as volunteer cheerleading coach for GHS.

* They approved the resignations of Tiffany Grabinski as fourth-grade teacher at Tzouanakis Intermediate School; Jaime Carter and Jolene Watson as instructional assistants for GHS; Keith Troxal as custodian for McAnally; Lisa Smith as cafeteria assistant and Jessica Faust as varsity cheerleading coach for GHS.

Additionally, William Smith resigned from his role as director of guidance for GHS but is only resigning from the role of director, not from his position with GCSC.

The Greencastle Community School Corporation holds monthly board meetings at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of each month.

The next school board meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 18 at 7 p.m. at Ridpath Primary School.

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