Mandates bring #036;500,000

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 25, 2000

budget cut for PCBOE


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July 24, 2000 10 PM

Declining enrollment and increased state control over how community school districts can spend funds have led the Pike County Board of Education to trim $500,000 from its 2000-2001 budget.

Facing expense increases in such state-mandated areas as salaries, Pike County Superintendent of Education John Key said many of the cuts came in personnel.

"When 85 percent of our budget expense comes in personnel, that is an area we are forced to turn to," he said. "We found it necessary to make considerable cuts in order to make our budget for next year work."

With a total budget of $15.6 million, Key said the school system does not have the funds to cover all of the mandates by the state and federal government through money supplied from those two revenue sources.

"Theoretically, a school system should be able to take the money coming in from the state and cover all of its mandated expenses," Key said. "That is not the case. A lot of maintaining the programs mandated relates to ADM (average daily membership) which is falling in the district."

One of the places Key said was hit hard by budget cuts was in teacher’s aides. The workforce of aides was dramatically dropped in order to accommodate the new budget.

"There was a time when a school district had 15 percent of its total funds that could be used at the board’s discretion," Key said. "Now, 90-95 percent of the budget is fixed by state mandates. The authority to make decisions at a local level has largely been usurped."

These mandates make cuts and re-vamped budgets a necessary evil, Key said.

"The state takes most of the money and decides how it will be spent and where it will be spent."

Seven to eight years ago, Key said, the school system employed 387 people. That number has bee whittled to 296.

Average daily membership, or the average number of students enrolled in school through a school year, has been falling along with funding, Key said.

"While I don’t know all of the causes for this, we do see the out-migration of jobs, some due to the closing of some of the shirt factories in the area," he said. "As people leave the district, ADM falls and so does the funding we receive from the state."

The board approved the budget in Monday night’s budget hearing which accompanied the Board of Education’s scheduled meeting.

In other business:

· Board members discussed students attending schools outside their districts of residence.

· The board approved a bid for garbage pick-up to Mike Dunning Industries.

· The board opted to re-bid for a propane supplier. Only one bid was received.

· Members approved termination of employment of teacher’s aides under their reduction of local force policy. Key noted the terminations are effective to end the current contract year. "Those who have been offered and who have accepted positions for the upcoming year will not be affected. This simply ends the current year. People who have accepted contracts are, again, not going to lose their new contracts because of this."

· The board approved the resignation submitted by Rebecca Ivey from her position as PCHS librarian.

· The board approved the requests by Mrs. Kelly W. Kelly and Mrs. Pinkey Barr for maternity through parts of August and September. Kelly is a Goshen Elementary School teacher and Barr is a special education teacher at Pike County Elementary School.

· Members approved the employment of Mr. Derek Whaley as seventh and eighth grade language arts teacher at Banks Middle School pending successful completion of the Omaha interview.

· Members approved the employment of Kathy Schofield as Goshen High School math teacher.

· The board approved the employment of Janie Sasser as science teacher at GHS.

· Members approved the employment of Wendy Ford as fifth grade teacher at GES pending a successful Omaha interview.

· Members approved the employment of Mrs. Voncile Flowers as a third grade teacher at Banks Primary School.

· The board approved the employment of Mike Moody as GES guidance counselor.

· Members approved the employment of Stephen Neal as automotive technology teacher at the Troy-Pike Regional Center for Technology pending a successful Omaha interview.

· The board approved the employment of Thomas Lawler as science teacher/coach at PCHS pending a successful Omaha interview.