By JEROD CLAPP
Changes in teacher salary increases could cost Greater Clark County Schools about $1 million for each of the next two years.
Though the board of trustees won’t vote on the measure until its next meeting, Andrew Melin, superintendent, said the salary changes for the next two school years will impact the general fund more than it has since the district renegotiated its contract with the Greater Clark Education Association in April 2011.
The association agreed to forego full salary step increases for the first two years of their contract for half-step increases. The contract terms saved the district about $2 million.
However, the second half of the contract reverts back to full-step increases.
But Melin said the district must follow through with the terms they’d already signed off on.
“We’re honoring the contract, but as we’re really striving to reach that balanced budget, it’s another one of those areas where we respect and appreciate our employees. Everyone does need to understand that it adds about additional $1 million expenditure on us, and that’s true for this school year and the next one,” Melin said.
After the meeting, Frank Denton, the education association president, said the contract helped the district save a considerable amount of money.
The board will likely vote on the measure at their June 18 meeting.
The board unanimously approved a new program to help at-risk high schoolers prepare for careers after they graduate.
Starting next school year, Jobs for American Graduates will put about 40 students at Jeffersonville High School with an instructor to help understand college applications and requirements, as well as job prospects.
The program works in coordination with WorkOne, which helps students while they’re in school and follows them for about a year after they graduate.
Travis Haire, assistant superintendent, said the program goes beyond retaining students and helps them once they leave school.
“It’s more than just a dropout prevention program, its’ really setting these kids up for life after high school,” Haire said. “It gives them an opportunity hopefully to walk out with a job and pursue post-secondary opportunities.”
He said an advisory committee has already met with about 65 students who showed interest in the program. He said about 50 applied, which they’ll work down to 40.
After a unanimous vote to get an additional appropriation for the district, including the full $4.28 million in the rainy day fund, chief financial officer Tom Dykiel asked for a $400,000 for Project Lead the Way.
The money would pay for equipment and professional development for the program at the high-school level, which allows students to take classes in biomedical studies and pre-engineering.
The program also reaches students in middle school to feed into the program.
Dykiel said the students who take those courses will bring in more money to the district.
Amy Schellenberg, executive director for educational services, said about 500 students are already signed up for classes in the program
• The board also unanimously approved a $3,000 contract with Idealogy to redesign the district’s logo.
• A new memorandum of understanding was approved with the Charlestown Police Department. With new federal and state funding, the district won’t pay as much for an additional school resource officer. Melin said a new interlocal agreement with the police department is coming soon as well.
• The district will enter a new one-year contract with a software company to handle its online credit recovery, alternative education and health software. The new program with Edumentum.com will cost the district about $35,000 annually as opposed to their current systems at $96,000.
• The board voted unanimously to retain Aramark as its food services management provider for another year.