MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF SCHOOL BOARD
OF BLOOMFIELD SCHOOL DISTRICT
January 23, 2003
The Board of School Trustees of the Bloomfield School District, of Greene County, Indiana, met in regular session on January 23, 2003, immediately following the 7:00 p.m. special meeting in the high school cafeteria in Bloomfield School District, 501 West Spring Street, Bloomfield, Indiana. The following school board members were present: Peggi Blakley, Randall Burcham, Nancy Canty, Keith Hanauer, and Marvin Helms. Steve Dowden and Richard Richeson were absent. President Helms called the meeting to order at approximately 7:10 p.m. The following order of business was transacted with the President presiding:
1. Item Removed From Agenda. President Helms announced that agenda item # 8. B. Parent Request for Grade Change was being removed from the agenda.
2. Recognitions. Jr./sr. high school principal Jerry Snapp recognized Business Professionals of America advisor Nancy Hudson and several students who recently competed at Northview High School. Mr. Snapp said several Bloomfield students earned the right to compete at the state level in the near future. Jr./sr. high school assistant principal Stella Royal told the Board that $2,000 had recently been received from Jim Combs to be used for a scholarship for a Bloomfield senior. Mr. Combs’ mother, Esther Combs, was a Bloomfield High School graduate. Superintendent Hasler recognized 6th grade teacher Susie Goodman for being chosen by the Indiana Department of Education to serve as a committee table leader that will set the ISTEP+ cut scores in January. At the last board meeting Carol Talbott had been recognized for also being selected to serve on that same committee. Mr. Hasler said the school was very pleased to have two teachers selected for this important task. Mr. Hasler also told the Board that technology coordinator Michelle Mattox had told him several months ago that she felt that there was an opportunity for the school corporation to save money on their out of state long distance telephone calls. He said Mrs. Mattox had completed all of the paper work to make the changes she thought would help and the treasurer had informed him that the work Mrs. Mattox had done had been very successful in reducing the corporation’s out of state long distance phone bill. Mr. Hasler said with economic times being what they are and with some of the items on the board meeting agenda he wanted to recognize staff members for going above and beyond to help with the problems the Board and school district are facing.
3. Approval of Minutes. The Board had been provided with minutes of the executive session and regular school board meetings both held on December 19, 2002, which had been prepared by corporation recording secretary Kelli Vandeventer. Keith Hanauer made a motion to approve the minutes as presented. Randall Burcham seconded the motion. The minutes were approved by a 5-0 vote.
4. Treasurer’s Report. The Board had been provided with the Treasurer’s Report, prepared by corporation treasurer Sue Pritts, consisting of the Appropriation Report and Claims Listing Report. Upon motion duly made by Nancy Canty and seconded by Peggi Blakley, the Board by a 5-0 vote approved the Treasurer’s Report.
5. Transfer of Appropriations 2002 Budget Final Report Accepted. It was recommended that the Board accept a report from the School District Treasurer showing transfers within and among both minor and major categories in all funds in order to allow for expenditures to close out the 2002 budget. (See attached) Nancy Canty made a motion to accept to treasurer’s report as presented. Keith Hanauer seconded the motion, which passed by a 5-0 vote.
6. Temporary Operating Loan for 2003 Awarded. Superintendent Hasler asked the Board to award the temporary operating loan for 2003, which will allow the district to meet its obligations, to First Farmers State Bank in Sullivan, Indiana. He explained that the loan is for $2,500,000 to be repaid December 31, 2003 at an interest rate of 1.94% per annum. The distribution of the loan shall be General Fund $925,000, Debt Service $825,000, Capital Projects, $425,000, and Transportation $325,000. It was also recommended that the Board authorize Sue Pritts, District Treasurer, to execute all notes, drafts, and other documents necessary or incidental to the closing or obtaining of this temporary loan. Randall Burcham made a motion to award the temporary operating loan to First Farmers State Bank and also to authorize the district treasurer to execute all paper work for the loan, per Mr. Hasler’s recommendation. (See attached) Keith Hanauer seconded the motion. Mr. Hasler told the Board that the loan would be taken out in $100,000 increments. He stated that First Farmers State Bank has a branch in Worthington that could service the loan. The Board had declared that a financial emergency did exist at the December 19, 2002 board meeting. Other financial institutions submitting bids were Bloomfield State Bank, Peoples Trust Company, Union Planters Bank, and Farmers and Mechanics Federal Savings and Loan. The superintendent told the Board that the purpose for this loan and the reason for the emergency is that the money is not coming in from state and county sources this year as it has in prior years. Mr. Hasler’s recommendation was passed by a 5-0 vote.
7. 2003 Certified Budget Appropriations Received. The superintendent told the Board that he had received notification, from the Department of Local Government Finance, of the 2003 certified appropriations, which is the authority to spend. He said that in prior years the tax rates and certified assessed valuation, or true tax value, for the year were also received by this time. However, due to the reassessment that information is not available at this time. Mr. Hasler gave the Board a list of the certified appropriations for 2002 and 2003 for comparison. (See attached) 2002 - General Fund, $6,366,962, Debt Service Fund, $1,091,885, Capital Projects Fund, $486,950, Transportation Fund, $445,886, Bus Replacement Fund, $0, and Special Education Pre-school Fund, $16,500. 2003 - General Fund $6,125,388, Debt Service Fund, $984,199, Capital Service Fund, $570,950, Transportation Fund, $464,925, Bus Replacement Fund, $0, and Special Education Pre-school Fund - $16,500. He noted that the 2003 certified appropriations are approximately $230,000 less than they were for 2002. This item was for information only. No Board action was required.
8. Homebound Instructor Approved. Jr./sr. high school principal Jerry Snapp recommended that the Board employ Mrs. Debra Harshman as a homebound instructor for two Bloomfield jr./sr. high school students. Both students have doctor’s orders, one will be having surgery and the other is undergoing treatment. Mr. Snapp asked the Board to approve Mrs. Harshman for up to five hours per week per student for the equivalent of her regular compensation for teaching. Mrs. Harshman would also be reimbursed for mileage or would be allowed to drive a school vehicle to Riley Hospital in Indianapolis if the instruction for the student having surgery begins before the student returns home for recovery. Superintendent Hasler supported Mr. Snapp’s recommendation. Nancy Canty made a motion to employ Mrs. Debra Harshman for homebound teaching per Mr. Snapp and Mr. Hasler’s recommendation. Keith Hanauer seconded the motion, which passed by a 5-0 vote.
9. Staff Utilization Report. The Board had been provided with a current staff utilization report. Mr. Hasler reminded the Board that they had received a staff utilization report in November 2001. At that time, Mr. Hasler read a prepared update to that staff utilization report. (See attached) This item was for information only. No Board action was required.
10. Reduction in Staffing Proposal Approved. The Superintendent recommended that the Board authorize him to begin the process of Reduction in Force (RIF) and /or termination of employment for six (6) f.t.e. (full time equivalent) of certified staff members, three (3) aides, and one and one-half (1 ½) secretaries and eliminate the maintenance supervisor position vacated due to retirement. Randall Burcham made a motion to approve the recommendation. Keith Hanauer seconded the motion. Mr. Hasler told the Board that this was only the beginning of a long process and that no names were associated with the reductions. He said that the exact number of employees to be named in the reductions could vary. He explained that he took the average salary and the average benefits for a teacher to determine how much of a savings 6 f.t.e., or possibly 7 f.t.e. teachers would save. He then said that taking the average probably would not work because when going by seniority the more senior members of the staff usually make more money. Mr. Hasler said the main thing he was trying to do was to get direction from the Board and make them aware that this is what is going to have to be done in order to get expenses under control. Mr. Hasler gave the Board data on general fund expenditures on personnel. He said he figured that approximately $310,000 needed to be cut from the General Fund budget. Mr. Hasler said that the decision to recommend a reduction in force was not made lightly, is a very serious action and will affect the lives of some fine people and loyal employees. He wanted the Board to realize the severity of the situation, and recommends a proactive stance to control school expenses. Nancy Canty asked if there were any alternatives or any other money that could be cut from the budget without taking jobs. Mr. Hasler said that he had the district treasurer cut 30% from any general fund account that is discretionary and that amounted to less than $50,000. He said that even if 100% of those discretionary accounts are cut, which would mean things like having no copy paper and no toilet paper, that would only cut approximately $150,000 which is not even half of the amount that needs to be cut. Mr. Hasler reminded the Board that other funds money cannot be transferred to the general fund. The Board then voted 5-0 to authorize Mr. Hasler to begin the process of Reduction in Force at Bloomfield School District. Nancy Canty stated that just because the process had begun did not mean that it would definitely happen. Mr. Hasler agreed and said that the Board would have the final say on each person recommended to be laid off or terminated.
11. 2002-2003 ECA Recommendations Approved. Board members were provided with an ECA recommendation for the 2002-2003 school year from athletic director Jason Skomp. Mr. Skomp recommended Roger Gooding as Girls’ Head Softball Coach. Superintendent Hasler included his support of the recommendation. Keith Hanauer made a motion to hire Mr. Gooding as recommended. Randall Burcham seconded the motion. The motion passed by a 4-1 vote. Peggy Blakley cast the nay vote.
12. Maternity Leave Request Approved. The Board had been provided with a request for maternity leave from Mrs. Shannon Dean who is a half-time Reading Recovery teacher at Bloomfield Elementary School. Mrs. Dean’s leave would tentatively be from March 31, 2003 until the end of the 2002-2003 school year. Randall Burcham made a motion to approve Mrs. Dean’s maternity leave request. Peggi Blakley seconded the motion, which passed by a 5-0 vote.
13. 2003-2004 School Calendar Adopted. Superintendent Hasler provided the Board with a proposed school calendar for the 2003-2004 school year. (See attached) He told the Board that the calendar had been through the discussion process with the Bloomfield Teachers Association and is similar to past years’ calendars. Nancy Canty made a motion to adopt the proposed calendar for the 2003-2004 school year as presented. Keith Hanauer seconded the motion, which passed by a 5-0 vote.
14. Collective Bargaining Update. Superintendent Hasler read a prepared Collective Bargaining Update to the Board and public. (See attached)
15. Comments and Information from the Public. Teachers and patrons voiced some concerns to the Board about how the Reduction in Force could impact Bloomfield Schools and students. Some adding comments included Ray Peek, Peggy Peek, Mary Katchmar, Nancy Hudson, Rick Hudson, Kathy Neill, Jack Terrell, Sherry Quakenbush, Steve Wikle, Ben Helms, Claudia Crane, Janet Shirley, Cindy Lincicome, Margaret Osmon, Georgia Flinn, Darla Bent, Mandy McIntosh, Debbie Harding, and Dave Harding. Superintendent Hasler along with members of the Board answered questions and responded to all making comments. After much discussion, Mr. Hasler and President Helms thanked everyone for their comments and participation.
16. Adjournment. There being no further business, Randall Burcham made a motion to adjourn. Peggi Blakley seconded the motion. The meeting was then adjourned by a 5-0 vote.