The Herald Bulletin

September 11, 2013

ACS approves 2014 budget

By Dani Palmer The Herald Bulletin
The Herald Bulletin

---- — ANDERSON — The Anderson Community Schools board approved the annual budget, recognized student heroes and discussed revisions to bylaws and policies during its monthly meeting Tuesday evening.

With factors like steadying enrollment and a slight tax rate increase after a previous year drop, Chief Financial Officer Kevin Brown said during last month's meeting, ACS can expect a nearly $1 million surplus in 2014.

ACS is predicting a revenue of $73 million and expense of $72 million in 2014, with a cash balance of nearly $12 million that includes carryover from previous years to be used in unforeseen expenses or shortfalls, Brown added.

ACS receives roughly $6,500 per student from the state and is looking at an enrollment of about 6,900 this year, a slight increase from last that has led to the reopening of schools and addition of classrooms in Anderson High School and Highland Middle School.

Chief Operations Officer Joe Cronk told the crowd of about 25 in Anderson High School's auditorium that Anderson High added computer labs, a Family and Consumer Sciences Lab and three classrooms while Highland added two classrooms.

The middle school will also be updating its fire protection sprinkler and heating and air vac systems soon at a cost of $2 million.

Over the summer, Valley Grove Elementary received a new $2.5 million HVAC system while Tenth Street Elementary received roof repairs and interior modifications, Cronk added.

During his operations update, he said 1,250 computers had also been replaced and 600 iPads brought into classrooms for use in instruction.

Student heroes

On Monday morning, a bus driver witnessed a serious car accident involving a Highland student and his grandmother.

The driver, Richard Shannon, pulled the bus over and rendered assistance with the help of four Highland students until emergency crews arrived, according to an email from Cronk to Assistant Superintendent Beth Clark.

The school board recognized those students Tuesday and The Herald Bulletin is pursuing a story on the incident for Thursday's publication.

Anderson University students were also recognized for their community service project that helped ACS schools.

Changes to bylaws and policies

The school board completed its first read-through of policy changes Tuesday evening and will vote on the matter next month.

Human Resources Manager Eric Creviston said the district is "changing policy to meet laws."

One of the biggest changes, he noted, is the state requirement for school corporations to adopt new anti-bullying policies, develop plans, implement programming and establish committees.

Revisions also include defining "permissible and limited use of force to allow staff members to prevent students from self-injury, injury to others, property damage or disruption of the educational function" and other small changes.

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An update on the search for an ACS interim superintendent School Board President Jean Chaille said the board has chosen an interim superintendent to step in next month, but that before the candidate's name is made public, hearings on the contract and a vote will be held. The public hearing on the interim's contract is Sept. 19 at 5 p.m. in Anderson High School's auditorium. The public vote will be held on Sept. 30 at 5 p.m. in Anderson High School's auditorium.