The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Local Education

May 21, 2013

Local school districts prepare to face funding challenges

ANDERSON, Ind. — Even with a slight increase in state funding projected for the near future, Anderson Preparatory Academy, like many other public schools, will still face financial challenges.

While legislators are making “some positive moves” in K-12 funding that may allow APA to make salaries more competitive, Commandant Robert Guillaume said, the money isn’t enough to really do anything but “maintain status quo.”

APA saw a drop in funding per student from about $6,400 in 2010 to $5,960 this year, he said.

And while that figure, or Average Daily Membership (ADM), is expected to rise again next year, it’s just “slowly inching back up” to what it’d once been at roughly $6,020.

It’s the federal sequestration cuts that will be most felt by the charter.

“Schools are expected, once again, to do more with less,” Guillaume said.

He said the loan forgiveness that Indiana granted charter schools was a blessing, but noted that about $200,000 will be federally cut from APA’s facilities — and the school doesn’t receive capital projects funding from property taxes like public school districts do.

The money, he said, will have to come from alternative sources, such as lenders. It’s a “wizards of accounts” dilemma.

Those federal cuts, about 5 percent worth, are ones that will be felt by schools all over the county and nation.

Anderson Community Schools Superintendent Felix Chow said that money goes toward programs like Title I, that offers assistance to struggling students, and special education.

But at this point, it’s too early to tell what sort of impact that decrease will make, he added.

And despite another forecast decrease in state funding, Chow said, the district is in position to “weather the storm.”

He said ACS has been “very conservative” in spending to build the “very healthy surplus” it has. The district’s 2013 budget predicted a $1 million surplus.

“Even with some cuts, as long as we maintain enrollment we’ll continue to be OK,” he said.

ACS’ enrollment began to stabilize in 2012 when it received $6,556 per student, and Chow said the district has been efficient in its two major expense areas: personnel and building usage.

Buildings have been closed and schools consolidated in the past three years, and two — Killbuck and Southview — are about to reopen in the fall because of a projected increase in younger students.

“On the one hand, we’re an educational institution,” Guillaume said of public schools. “On the other hand, we’re a business.”

He said they have to be good at both.

Find Dani Palmer on Facebook and @DaniPalmer_THB on Twitter, or call 640-4847.

Text Only
Local Education
  • Vaughan, Nancy Madison County grad rates and test scores improve, but still lag state High school graduation rates and standardized test scores in English, math and science all improved among public school students in Madison County from 2009 to 2013, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

    July 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • Pay for South Madison soccer coaches under review An ad hoc parent group wants the South Madison Community Schools board to consider raising the stipend for Pendleton Heights High School soccer coaches.

    July 21, 2014

  • FEA - HB0721 - Rotary Exchange - JC 1 Foreign exchange program builds lasting friendships Paulina Berger returned to her hometown in Olpe, Germany on Friday, but she left something important behind: part of her heart. The 16-year-old spent a year living with three host families in Anderson as part of the Rotary Youth Exchange program.

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • FEA HB0721 ISU Normal Hall Work underway to restore ISU's Normal Hall The sounds of heavy equipment, impact drills and even a large wrecking ball are evidence of a renovation underway at Normal Hall, Indiana State University's oldest academic building.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • HHS class of '66 seeks classmates The Highland High School Class of '66 will host its 48th class reunion on Aug. 23. Contact information is needed for several classmates.

    July 19, 2014

  • Jottings: July 20 The following are brief Jottings items of local interest.

    July 19, 2014

  • AHS Class of '65 plans informal gathering The Anderson High School Class of 1965 will hold an informal 49th class gathering. The gathering will be Saturday, Aug. 16, at 6:30 p.m. at Shouts Sports Pub (Cooper's Sport Bowl), 1920 E. 53rd St.

    July 18, 2014

  • NWS - HB0129 - snyder photo - SU Ivy Tech president attends apprenticeships summit

    Fresh from a White House-sponsored summit on expanding apprenticeship opportunities in high-growth industries, Ivy Tech Community College President Tom Snyder said some programs in Indiana are on the leading edge of that effort.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • ACS teacher fights suspension in federal court An Anderson Community Schools second-grade teacher who was dismissed and placed on paid administrative leave early this year is fighting the school system's teacher evaluation program in federal court saying her constitutional rights of due process were violated because she was not allowed to attend meetings where her classroom performance was discussed and evaluated.

    July 14, 2014

  • NWS - HB0714 - back to school 2 Students receive the basics at Back to School Festival

    The threat of severe weather forced a normally popular back-to-school event indoors. The weather stayed away, but regardless, a few thousand children went home with school supplies they desperately need.

    July 13, 2014 3 Photos

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide