The Herald Bulletin

April 28, 2010

South Madison spares WEEM, school nurses from cuts

By Dave Stafford
The Herald Bulletin

PENDLETON, Ind. — Pendleton Heights High School’s student-run radio station will stay on the air after the South Madison Community Schools board voted Wednesday to remove WEEM from a list of budget cuts approved earlier in the year.

Separately, the board voted to remove from the list of cuts three school nurses who had been included in the cuts. The board reserved the right to use EMTs in some schools as part of cost-saving plans.

Reduction of the WEEM program was estimated to have saved the district about $90,000 per year, and replacing school nurses with emergency medical technicians would have saved about $58,000. Those cuts were among annual cuts of about $2 million the board approved in February.

South Madison Superintendent Tom Warmke said a partnership is being pursued with a university that would help keep WEEM on the air.

“I’m looking forward to sharing the details of that partnership,” he said. “I’d like to at this time not share the name of the university,” he told the board.

Removing WEEM and school nurses from the lists of budget cuts came after the board approved a new contract with teachers that will save the school system about $850,000 annually.

Separately, Warmke told the board that South Madison has received 75 applications from students who wish to transfer to the district next school year — 23 more than the school board approved for administrative review last month.

South Madison administrators said they had reviewed and accepted 29 of the 52 transfer requests the board approved. Another 19 were still being reviewed, and four students who requested transfers were rejected for failing to meet guidelines set by the board.

Since the board approved the transfer policy earlier this year, Warmke said South Madison may admit as many as 150 transfer students, bringing with them additional state revenue of about $750,000. 

Contact Dave Stafford: 648-4250, dave.stafford@heraldbulletin.com