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Elida calls for effective state funding model PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 12:19 AM

BY STACY TAFF

Staff Writer

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ELIDA—After the failure of another levy attempt earlier this month, Elida Local Schools Board of Education and administration are still attempting to find a funding strategy that will keep the district stable for the foreseeable future.

“State aid is not based on what it actually costs for our basic education; it’s not based on performance, even though we’ve been rated excellent three of the last five years.” Treasurer Joel Parker said. “I think our message to Matt Hoffman is that we’re still operating in a failed funding system. The disappointing part of it is we’re still over-reliant on property taxes and that has nothing to do with how well we’re performing.

“In a private business, if you’re performing well, things go well and revenue goes up. In our case, we can perform really well, go to state twice, and there’s no reflection of that in the funding formula, of academic success or success out of the classroom. We’ve got to put together a five year strategic plan that’s going to have us going in the right direction.”

In subsequent board meetings, board members Brian Anders and Brad Settlage have opined that the May primary was too soon to put another issue on the ballot, after the district’s last request failed in November. Anders reiterated these sentiments during a discussion over Parker’s 5-year financial forecast.

“There’s not a deficit until fiscal year 2016, according to this. Why was it so important that we put the levy on this May?” he asked. “We could’ve waited.”

Board member Brenda Stocker stated the forecasted carryover for fiscal year 2015 puts the district in danger.

“Why would we want to have less than a 60-day carryover? That’s the standard. A 60-day carryover is $3.5 million,” she said. “The standard is you want to have a big enough carryover so that you don’t have to borrow money. We’re a business in that sense. We have to have those safeguards in place.”

Anders, along with Settlage, has stated in past meetings that voters will not pass a levy until changes are made to district leadership.

LaRee Little, a fourth-generation Elida graduate, Elida resident and former educator and administrator for the district, weighed in on the subject during public participation.

“I am stating what I believe to be the truth and this does not necessarily represent my personal viewpoints,” he said. “I do not believe a stronger case could’ve been made for the need of additional operating money for Elida Local Schools. I would suggest there are three reasons. One, there are some people convinced that they just cannot afford to pay more taxes and in some cases, that is true.”

The second group Little mentioned consists of those who are not convinced the district is in need of additional funds. The third group of voters who voted no will continue to do so until there are changes made to administration, Little said.

“This group contains enough voters to cause any tax levy to fail,” he said. “They simply do not trust or support the leadership of the schools and sad but true, they are resolved that they will not support any school levy until the leadership is changed. We do live in a democracy, imperfect though it may be. Could it be the naysayers have a point?”

The board approved the following supplemental employees: Jason Carpenter, head football; Dan Larimore, Jeff Thomas, Mo Sumpter and Kyle Harmon, asst. varsity football; L. Jay Terry, JV football; Tom Gibson, 8th grade head football; Darren Smith, 8th grade asst. football; Guy Alexander, 7th grade head football; Dennis Thompson, head golf; Tom Thomas, head boys soccer; Scott Warris, asst. boys soccer; Brady Overholt, head girls soccer; Elise Jenkins, asst. girls soccer; Quinn Whittaker, head girls tennis; Bruce Marshall, head cross country; Kevin King, head volleyball; Ashley Edwards, asst. volleyball; Leisa Stratton, 9th grade volleyball; Laura Stratton, 7th grade volleyball.

In other news, the board approved the following pay-to-participate plan: high school sports- $200 (family plan: $200 first, $150 second, $100 third, fourth, etc.); middle school sports- $125 (family plan: $125 first, $100 second, $75 third, fourth, etc.); high school band (only)- $50; Jazz Band- $0; middle school band- $0; musical (only)- high school $40, middle school and elementary $25 (family plan: $40 first, $10 second, third, etc.); High School Quiz Bowl (9-12)- $40; middle school Quiz Bowl (5-8)- $20; National Honor Society- $0; high school student council- $0; middle school student council- $0.

Students of the month for May are as follows: Elida Elementary- Isaac Earl, David Etzkorn, Joel Van Gorder; Elida Middle School- Annalissa Cottrell, Grace Earl, Isaac McAdams, Jada Simpson; Elida High School- Lindsey Wisher (Valedictorian) and Bethany Koch (Salutatorian).

The following retirees were recognized: Janet Bailey, Sandra Benson, Sarah Burden, Kim Daniel, David Desenberg, Kim Howard, Pam Radulovich, Maureen Rentz, Linda Rigali, Linda Spayd, Jan Swickrath, Deb Thomas, Dennis Thompson, Deb Vine, Penny Welenken, Ann Wolf and James Wyant.

The board also accepted the following resignations: Faith Cummings, certified, Elida Elementary principal, effective July 31; Kim Daniel, certified, Elida High School social studies teacher, effective May 31 for retirement purposes; Greg Leeth, high school principal, certified, effective July 31 for retirement purposes; Lynette Lewis, non-certified, bus driver, effective May 31; Linda Rigali, non-certified, bus driver, effective May 31 for retirement purposes; Jan Swickrath, non-certified, bus driver, effective Sept. 1 for retirement purposes; Melissa Schultz, supplemental, middle school cross country coach.

The following personnel were approved for employment: William Kellermeyer, Jr., high school social studies teacher certified; Charissa Langstaff, school social worker, certified; Anthony Cox, high school principal, certified, three year contract; Mark Miller, safety, maintenance and facilities manager, certified, three year contract; Michael Recker, substitute bus driver, non-certified.

Joseph Bender was approved as a substitute teacher.

The board passed a resolution to enter into an agreement with Allen County Service Center to provide the following personnel, as needed: speech therapist, E.D. classroom, Preschool Handicapped Program, Preschool Itinerant, occupational therapy, physical therapy, Alternative Program, autism classroom, Marimor PT, on-site curriculum.

 

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