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CAB Expenses Exceed Revenues by Half a Million
May 2, 2007 - The financial background against which the Charles A. Beard School Board would later be asked to consider personnel cuts for next year was presented as the first matter of business at the board's April 17 meeting.
Ray Pavy, a former assistant superintendent for the New Castle Community School Corp hired by CAB on contract in January as an interim business manager after Amanda Zurwell resigned, provided the board with a summary CAB's financial problems. He identified for the board four "pieces of information" he said were important.
*For the period July 1, 2005, through June 30, 2006, Pavy said CAB's expenses exceeded its revenues by about $500,000.
*Pavy next noted that CAB collected about $307,000 less in property taxes than the maximum available for its General Fund levy for its 2006 budget.
*According to Pavy, retroactive increases in pay and health insurance premiums for staff cost CAB about $260,000.
*Finally, Pavy said a decline in enrollment could result in the loss of as much as $255,000 in state aid for 2007.
Pavy provided the board with the amounts of state aid CAB received in 2004, 2005 and 2006. After a drop of less than one-tenth a percent between 2005 and 2006, he said the school corporation is likely to see state support drop about four percent in 2007.
With the amount of state support received being based on student enrollment, Pavy said he thinks there needs to be "a change in attitude" in terms of how state support for education is determined. He encouraged the board and public in attendance to contact lawmakers and urge them to adopt a school funding scheme that doesn't penalize small school corporations or those with declining enrollment.
Praising the benefits of a small school corporation, Pavy rhetorically asked, "Would you rather have your child attend Knightstown High School, Broad Ripple High School or Pike High School?" He said he would rather have his children attend KHS, which he said was the only school of the three to meet the Adequate Yearly Progress benchmark required by the No Child Left Behind Act.
After Pavy concluded his presentation, Superintendent David McGuire told the board he thought a state estimate that CAB's enrollment will drop another 40 students next year was a little high. Likening such projections to the uncertainty of long-term weather forecasting, he said he believed the decrease in students would be closer to 36, which he said would still result in the loss of "a significant chunk of money."
The potential impact of these financial issues on CAB employees and students became evident about 75 minutes later. As one of the last items of business that night, McGuire asked the board for permission to begin the process that could lead to the elimination of five positions.
As The Banner previously reported, the board unanimously voted at the April 17 meeting to have McGuire officially notify the following five employees that their positions have been targeted for possible elimination through reduction in force (RIF): Jan Crouch, vocal music instructor for KHS and Knightstown Intermediate School; KIS gifted and talented teacher Lisa Haughn; KHS business teacher Richard VanOsdol; elementary school social worker Susan Logan; and mental health counselor Mark Herbkersman. The board is expected to vote sometime in May on whether to make these personnel cuts, which McGuire said could save CAB between $185,000 and $200,000.
The financial news at the April 17 meeting was not all grim. Business Manager David Bundy advised the board that the estate of Helen B. (Baum) Vogt pledged an endowment of $60,000 to fund two $30,000 scholarships: one for a student studying fine arts and one for a student studying business administration. Vogt was a 1936 graduate of KHS.
In other financial matters, the board approved payment of claims totaling $833,891.01. As has been the case this entire school year, monthly reports detailing the finances for the cafeteria programs for CAB and its five schools were not provided to the board. The board also voted to approve returning $7,786.24 in outstanding "stale" checks back to the corporation's General Fund.
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