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Education/Schools

January 25, 2013

Greater Clark County Schools mulls outsourcing, school closures

Board of Trustees struck down both measures with last administration

JEFFERSONVILLE — Studying the costs and benefits of school closures and outsourcing various services have been outlined as bullet points by Greater Clark County Schools’ strategic planning committee.

Both measures were explored by the district’s previous administration under former Superintendent Stephen Daeschner, but the discussions were ultimately ended or overturned by the school board.

Superintendent Andrew Melin said the finance subcommittee listed the examination of the financial impact of outsourcing as something the district needs to perform.

However, he said a study isn’t the same as execution.

“This is not to say that we are planning to outsource,” Melin said. “This is the fact that we need to at least look at whether there are any financial benefits to do that. Obviously, you need to be sensitive to your staff in that regard and there are a lot of different models out there in regard to outsourcing.”

New Albany-Floyd County Consolidated Schools Corp. voted to outsource its custodial services with Sodexo in October 2011. In November 2012, Sodexo told the district it lost twice the amount of money it expected in the first year of the contract. The district extended the contract until May 2013 and paid an extra $150,000, but it’s planning to find another service provider.

Greater Clark’s last discussion on outsourcing ended abruptly after former Chief Financial Officer Thomas Galovic was directed to find vendors.

After the board voted to seek requests for vendors in June, 2011, board members Kevin Satterly and Jerry White interrupted Galovic’s presentation at a meeting five months later to present a budget reduction plan that did not include employee outsourcing. The board voted to end the discussion on outsourcing that night.

Melin also said the committee listed potential school closures as a cost-cutting option the district needs to consider. He said capacity studies of the schools can reveal which buildings have the smallest enrollment along with other inefficiencies — and see if consolidation of schools or closure needs to occur.

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