The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local News

November 13, 2012

ACS on track financially

ANDERSON, Ind. — Chief Financial Officer Kevin Brown on Tuesday night reiterated his forecast that Anderson Community Schools will end the current academic year with a $1 million surplus.

Brown presented a fiscal update during the ACS board meeting Tuesday evening in Anderson High School’s auditorium.

He said enrollment fell by about 100 students from the 2011-12 school year to the current academic year, for a loss of about $650,000 in revenue, which is less than had been predicted.

Brown said ACS officials hope to keep enrollment steady. The State of Indiana compensates local school systems on a per-pupil basis.

“Hopefully, we’re stabilizing,” Brown said. “Hopefully, we’ll start receiving increasing enrollment in coming years.”

Transportation costs have increased, a side effect of the district’s new school-choice program, which allows parents to choose the ACS elementary school their children attend. But Brown still predicts the $1 million budget surplus for the 2012-13 school year.

“It’s a difficult task to provide good quality service but stay in fiscal restraints,” Brown said.

In other news from the school board meeting:

AFT President Tom Forkner said efforts to improve academics at Highland Middle School are “off to a good start.”

Highland received an “F” in the recently released Indiana Department of Education’s grading system, and ACS developed an Improvement Impact Plan with the following components:

  • an additional hour per week for teacher team planning time
  • an additional hour per week for professional development
  • the presence of a district administrator and an instructional coach at the school
  • improvement teams to assess needs and develop improvement plans
  • increased focus to maximize student instructional time

Superintendent Felix Chow congratulated 10th Street Elementary on its first place in the Sumdog East Indianapolis Area contest.

Sumdog’s online math program uses games to engage students.

ACS staff and presidents of the Anderson Federation of Teachers and the Parent Advisory Council thanked school board members Stephanie Moran and Irma Hampton Stewart for their continued interest in ACS and congratulated board member Tim Long on his victory in the Nov. 6 election.

Moran and Stewart were Athena Award nominees and left the meeting early for the Athena Awards program at Anderson Country Club, where Moran was named the Athena Award winner for 2012.

They both retained their school board seats without challenge in the election, while Long won a contested race.

“I look forward to further working with you in the future,” high school teacher Randy Harrison told them.

Next month, the board’s meeting will focus on academics in elementary education.

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

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