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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Bloomfield School District is seeing more funding cuts

Friday, December 28, 2012

Current estimated Indiana Department of Education tuition support for Bloomfield School District in 2013 shows a loss of more than $300,000.

Superintendent Dan Sichting said the revenue loss is due to the continued drop in enrollment and the elimination of two school grants -- Small Schools Grant and Rural Schools Grant.

The loss from 2012 to 2013 is expected to $328,686, but Sichting noted the school has already taken steps to prepare for the funding loss.

Two teachers who left the school were not replaced, and one teacher's aid who made the shift to secretary was not replaced.

Although, he added, these cuts only total approximately $200,000 of the revenue loss. He also stressed if the school continues to see a drop in enrollment like in the last two years, the school could lose an additional $150,000 in 2014.

"We aren't in what I would call a grave situation, but we are getting to a point where we don't have too much left before we start to cut programs. We don't want to do that," Sichting stressed.

He added the enrollment projections for next year are already looking better, considering the school has only lost less than 10 students this year.

"Last year at this time it was 30 students," Sichting noted.

He added there have been students during the winter break who have filed transfer forms to start the second semester.

Sichting said starting this year there are two Average Daily Membership (ADM) counts a year, while in the past there was only one the first semester. Starting next year, there will be funding cuts made if there is a loss in ADM for the second semester.

The school received an Impact Aid payment of $7,395.53 in December. The Impact Aid payment is given to schools to reimburse for federal properties located in the district that are declared tax exempt, such as SAIC or other federal contractors..

Sichting said if the country surpasses the Fiscal Cliff, the Impact Aid will go away immediately. He added the annual amount received by Bloomfield School District is equivalent to a teacher's salary.

BSD received $180,000 in reimbursement from the Full-Day Kindergarten grant, totaling $2,400 for each of the 75 students enrolled. The funding paid for the costs associated with the program, including two teacher salaries.

"Time will tell to see what the legislature decides. There is a possibility it will become part of the funding formula," Sichting noted.

The 2013 Special Education Grant is expected to be $57,316 less than the 2012 funding level.

Sichting said the drop is due to students graduating, moving out of the district and newly implemented intervention techniques.

The "Response to Intervention" program is instilling more general education techniques in the classroom before a student can be labeled in the special education category.

Sichting said he expects this funding to continue to drop over the course of the next four years, and added the funding could be cut altogether in the future.

The school board voted to make changes to the 2013-19 Contracted Bus Bid to remove the requirement of having a GPS device on the bus.

"It recently came to my knowledge most buses don't have a computer with chassie (for the GPS)," Sichting said.

While he added the suggestion of having the GPS to monitor driver speeds and routes is important, the drivers of buses older than 2007 would incur additional costs for switches and sensors they were not prepared for.

"Some drivers already bought the realm radios, but they were told to figure it into their bid," Sichting noted.

The board voted to award a bid to Guardian Life at the rate of $.11 per every thousand dollars of salary for employee term life insurance and $.02 per every thousand dollars of salary for accidental death and dismemberment.

Sichting said the recommendation was made due to current insurance holder Fort Dearborn Life raising their rate from $.12 per every thousand dollars to $.16 for every thousand dollars of salary.

Sichting noted the school will continue to have to make cuts to employee health insurance due to having a high loss ratio. A law passed recently states the school cannot be more than 112 percent above the state plan, and the school is at 123 percent.

"We don't want to hurt our employees, but by law we have to make these cuts," Sichting stressed.

Bloomfield School Board will be meeting Jan. 3 for a reorganizational meeting at 4:30 p.m.

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Maybe with the addition of football, the students wouldn't transfer out.

-- Posted by DaiseyJ on Fri, Dec 28, 2012, at 8:25 PM

Bloomfield school is getting what they deserve. People aren't leaving because of football, it's because of the administration and boards lack of professionalism. Get new administrators who actually care about the students and not about winning the Bloomfield popularity contest and watch the number of enrollments increase. Until then people will continue moving their kids out of Bloomfield school.

-- Posted by outofthisworld on Mon, Dec 31, 2012, at 10:28 AM

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