BAYLOR: Dear Pat (note: the Tribune isn't loading this, but if you scroll down, the whole letter is there)
“I can’t help but wonder if we’ve made a mistake in settling down in New Albany. This place is nuts.”
Clarksville school system asks voters for tax bump
Referendum in May could save staff if approved by voters
"INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Mitch Daniels said Monday that New Albany-Floyd County school officials aren’t “as serious about the academic responsibilities they have as they could be” and could have made better decisions about budget cuts made last week and closing four elementary schools." click to read full article
- Daniels critical of NA-FC School Corp. Plan - "Governor says he has been paying attention since he was 'personally attacked.'"
- CLERE: Jobs and education are the key
link to WAVE 3 coverage
by Norma Condra
I almost came unglued when I heard Gardenour say she supports Silver Street, because she did not support it during the RFR meetings. However, I do believe Gardenour wanted to keep Childrens Academy open. After all, she "likes to think she represents all the children of Floyd County."
And when Wiseheart said she is in support of keeping schools open, she was telling the truth, but wasn't saying which schools she wanted to keep open. Wednesday evening Wiseheart met with Galena parents and told them she would do everything she can to keep Galena open. Funny, Wiseheart never promised the same to the Save Silver Street organization, and other Silver Street supporters, etc., during the YEAR of fighting to keep Silver Street open.
And a little known fact is that over three years ago, Galena was on the RFR committee's list of schools to be considered for closing, but was quickly removed due to its high performance rating and to keep Floyds Knobs parents happy.
When my husband and I were Silver Street's co-PTO presidents, we met with former school superintendent Dr. Dennis Brooks on several occasions to discuss school closure issues. During one of those meetings, Dr. Brooks stated that parents on the "hill" bought homes, such as those in the very affluent Woods of Lafayette, so their children could go to hill schools, and would be very upset if schools were closed there. We explained to Dr. Brooks that parents in downtown New Albany purchase homes in areas with walkable, neighborhood schools, and we reminded him that not everyone wants to live in a subdivision.
So you see, Dr. Brooks protected the "hill" schools by creating school closure criteria that included high performance standards. This would exclude "hill" schools from even being considered for closure. To expect diversely populated Title I schools to achieve ISTEP scores equal to schools comprised of a mostly affluent white mono-culture is unrealistic and unfair, yet the RFR committee's criteria was craftily orchestrated to do just that.
Galena and Childrens Academy were added to the mix under Dr. Hibbard’s “new” school closure criteria, which only looked at school building conditions and the inability to expand. Suddenly, no one on the school board wants to see schools close, but if it had just been Silver Street and Pine View, I doubt there would have been as much emotion and fervor over school closure from a school board predominantly made up of people who don't live in New Albany.
click here for complete dialogue
My mother is employed at Hazelwood Middle School. She let me know that Bill Briscoe has informed their school resource officer that not everyone who wishes to speak tonight will get to. Only a few representatives from each school (?) will be allowed to speak. I have no idea how they plan on determining this. Also, he has informed all officers that will be supervising the crowd that as the meeting/voting begins, if the crowd becomes loud and unruly they are ordered to clear the auditorium and no one will get to see the vote. So unless we want to read about the results in tomorrow's news papers, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE try to hold shouting/anger/frustration, etc. so that we may all remain present for this meeting! Thank you and KEEP PRAYING
I just set-up a gmail account for all community members to deposit their NA-FC school budget solution ideas. While "I don't want my school closed because..." is valid, it is not a solution. Our School Board members need to hear what all the great minds of New Albany and Floyd County can offer to turn this boat around! Please send your ideas, no matter how small or how large or how obscure to: NAFCrecommendations@gmail.com
For a quarter of a century, I have watched the NAFC schools slip further and further away from doing what is best for their clients, the children and families of Floyd County. The need for cutting costs may be necessary, but in spending more and more money for programs to try to leave no child behind, the school system is on the brink of not only leaving more children than ever behind, ...continued
News and Tribune - Hundreds attend NA-FC's meeting on proposed school closures
Courier-Journal - Dozens air views on plan to close New Albany schools
Panel of Republicans and Democrats offer views in CEEP Education Policy Chat
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 19. 2008
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A group of four members of the Indiana General Assembly disagreed on what should be done, but each offered suggestions for additional consideration on school funding and other policies during today's CEEP Education Policy Chat at the Indiana Memorial Union.
The panel, split evenly with a Democrat and a Republican from both the House and Senate, spoke this morning at the final policy chat of the spring series, sponsored by the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy (CEEP) and the Indiana University School of Education.
Public invited to sound off at New Albany/Floyd Co. School Board meeting
The meeting is tonight at 7PM at NAHS. If you plan to speak, you need to arrive by 6:30 and sign-in.
The proposals, developed after the state ordered public school spending across Indiana to be cut $300 million this year, also include moving all fifth-graders from elementary to middle schools. But they would not require any layoffs of full-time teachers, Hibbard said.
The elementary schools that would close at the end of the school year are Silver Street Elementary, Pine View Elementary, Galena Elementary and Children’s Academy of New Albany.link to full story
Schools, Services May Be Targeted For Cuts
POSTED: 7:56 am EST March 4, 2010
UPDATED: 11:40 am EST March 4, 2010
NEW ALBANY, Ind. -- The New Albany-Floyd County school district is releasing its proposal to deal with massive budget cuts Thursday.The proposal may once again put services or entire schools on the chopping block.According to the New Albany News and Tribune, Superintendent Bruce Hibbard and his administrative team plan to present 57 recommendations to the New Albany School Board and to the public Monday night. (continued)link to full WLKY story
Here is an explanation from the Indiana Association of School Business Officials
K-12 EDUCATION FUNDING REDUCTIONS
(The following information is from IAPSS and IASBO)
On December 28, 2009, Governor Daniels announced that funding for K-12 education would be reduced by $297 million in calendar year 2010 beginning with the January distribution. The State Budget Agency has recently determined that the amount of savings needed to balance the state's budget from public school education funding is $298,437,168. The Budget Agency in conjunction with the Department of Education has developed a methodology to make the reductions to each school corporation. The DOE will be distributing a new DOE 54 on January 14 that will reflect the reductions and methodology.
News and Tribune article "BALANCING ACT: NA-FC schools need to cut $6.6 million to balance budget this year"
What is the Scope of the Problem?
- NA-FC averages a 2.5% annual increase
- This represented a $1.8 million loss to NA-FC in each of the next 2 years
- This represents $3.2 Million to NA-FC for each of the next 2 years.
- This cut becomes a new floor of funding. Permanent not temporary.
- This represents another $25K loss to NA-FC each year
- This represents another $135K loss to NA-FC each year
- This represents additional $99K loss to NA-FC
- Our worst nightmare of this new plan has now come true.
- Stable property tax revenue has been replaced with unstable income tax, sales tax, and gambling $.
Education continues to be a hot topic, and it will get even hotter Thursday if, as expected, the New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated School Corp. announces school closings.
Facts are likely to be overwhelmed by misinformation, emotion and politics, so I'm going to try to set the record straight in advance.