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Greater Clark Schools Says Buy Outs Will Help Budget

Twenty-nine educators and staff have accepted terms of an early retirement package to save Greater Clark County Schools money next school year.

Superintendent Andrew Melin says the school district wants to make up to $3 million in reductions in its roughly $70 million general fund and the buy outs will bring them closer to that number.

“What we’re doing is we’re really working hard on efficiencies, looking at our staffing and all staff classifications to make sure that we are running as efficiently as we possibly can and still trying to focus on the quality of education we’re giving our students.”

Melin says the buy-outs include a $20,000 cash incentive to retire at the end of this school year and should save the district over $2 million. He says it also prevents the district from having to lay off teachers due to decreased enrollment. The past several years the student population has dropped by over 600 students and the district was planning on having 26 fewer teachers, he says.

The budget presented to the school board also allows the district to add money to its rainy day fund which is part of what the district calls its cash balances. Melin says the state of Indiana expects districts to balance their budget so that its revenues exceed expenditures 8 percent therefore having money left over for when times are tough

This means an extra $5 million for GCCS’s budget.

“We have a plan that we’ll submit to our board in the near future that should bring us in at that mark we need to make,” Melin says.

The budget is further helped by a reduction of administration costs by around $700,000 which is partly due to the smaller salary offered to Melin when he replaced former GCCS superintendent Stephen Daeschner.

The district also has a new strategic plan that was introduced last week, which was the culmination of nearly 70 constituents and GCCS officials, Melins says.

He says he expects the board to approve the plan on March 19.   It includes improving access to technology, improving its image in the community and expanding partnerships over the next several years.

It also calls for improvements in several academic measures.

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