2019 BCSC Legislative Session
Articles,  Blog

2019 BCSC Legislative Session

– This is the first time that we’ve had this
legislative gathering, I think, and we’re very appreciative
of you taking the time out of your busy
schedules to attend today. Our purpose in putting this
together was just to give BCSC, us, the opportunity to share with key stakeholders
within our community, the things that we are
thinking about legislatively, so as we work through
this legislative session, this long session, that
is a very important one when it comes to money, a budget year, we have some thoughts in
regards to various topics. We wanna share those
with you, just give you a little bit of information
from BCSC standpoint. So when you came in, there
were two items at the table, that hopefully you picked
up, one was this card that lists out our legislative priorities, and I wanna be very specific upfront in terms of these are BCSC priorities. We recognize that we are one of about 300 school corporations
in the state of Indiana, and we certainly pay attention to all those other school corporations, and we have various members of us who belong to different organizations, for example, myself,
Superintendents Association, and we pay attention to the things that they are looking
at legislatively too, but as we look at our
data, our information, our situation, our
circumstances, our community, we look at things that we
think are most important to us, and we believe we can have an impact in terms of advocating for
those things legislatively, and this list then, is
what we have developed. On the backside of that card
is a list of the legislators who represent our community,
whether it’s a sliver of it, or the majority of it, they
are a part of our community and would be individuals
that if you would like to have a conversation
on any legislative topic, whether it’s one we talked about today, or anything else that
is of interest to you, then that contact
information is there for you. Additionally, the second
piece that we provided was this advertisement
for third house sessions. So the chamber does an outstanding job of offering these third house sessions throughout the legislative session. A little change this year, in that it is given, or being held, once per month versus every Monday. The next one, or first
one, is this coming Monday. So good timing, I guess, on our part, they have this session, perhaps today, get some information out there, and then the first third house session will be Monday morning
7:30am at City Hall, so please attend that. And again, the legislators that are involved in our
community are listed there for us. I’m gonna go ahead and get started, so we can think about the things
that we want to talk about, again, from BCSC’s standpoint. I’m gonna cover just a
couple things very quickly, but just to indicate to you
that we aren’t being random with the way that we’re
approaching things, so we do have targets
that we try to shoot at. This is BCSC’s plan on a page, and although it’s pretty small and hard for you to take a look at, or to completely understand and digest, probably the biggest thing are those three areas on the left. And so when we try to concentrate on what we want to do
as a school corporation, the very first thing we do is look at a safe and caring environment, and how can we ensure that we
have that kind of environment because without that environment, we can’t really get anything else done, and so safety is a piece that
we like to concentrate on, need to concentrate on. Academic performance is
the second go-area there, so all the things that
we try to do to make sure that we’re being successful
with our learners, we have metrics for academic performance. And then that last piece,
responsible management. And we believe as a school corporation, it is our responsibility
to manage the dollars, the resources that we have, as efficiently and effectively as possible
for this community. We recognize that each
dollar we have comes from you in one way or another, whether it’s a sales tax you’re paying that goes to the state and somehow makes its way back to us, or the property taxes you’re paying, we are using your dollars
whenever we’re spending them as a school corporation. Each of these things will
come up in one way or another as we talk about legislative priorities. The mission and vision
of our school corporation is listed there, it’s something we cover at every school board meeting to make sure that our
stakeholders understand, now, what we are attempting to
accomplish as a corporation. And then we have a list of high expectation objectives as well, that we try to make sure that
our stakeholders understand, that our staff members adhere to, and that we try to
develop kids who are ready for whatever comes after
their life in school. So some information about
the legislative session as we’ve now dug in, and we
have some legislators here and I’ll recognize them in just a second, the session has started. I had a long conversation
with Ryan last night and just listening to all the things that he’s trying to digest,
I know you all are drinking from a firehose at this point in time with a number of bills that are filed, 1,223 is the count I saw,
I hope that that’s correct, and from what we were able to identify, 168 of them seem to be
tied, in one way or another, to K through 12 education
or school governance, or some other child-related legislation. And then 30-plus, attempting
to address school safety, in one way or another. So as we look at the bills, it seems like they break out that way. Here are some key dates, so if you actively follow
the legislative session and wanna know when things
are going to happen, Monday, February 25, and Tuesday,
February 26, are key dates because those are the last
days for third readings, and then we get into
April before the last day for third readings of a bill from one house going to the other. So April 15, and 16th, and this
session ends on April 29th. So we have about three months of time for our legislators to
get a lot of work done, and I know that is a challenge, it’s probably 24/7 situation
from now until then, we appreciate the work that
they have to put in there. These, again, are the area legislators that we have for our community, and we have a few of
them in attendance here. I’m gonna go through those
names real quick here, Shawn, when it says no bills filed there, that doesn’t mean Shawn’s not active, it’s being very specific
to what I understand, at least, from K through 12 standpoint. So of all the categories that exist where a bill can be filed
on K through 12 education, our focus today, and
so when I look at that, Shawn does not have a
specific one in that, Ryan is here, Ryan if you please stand and thank you so much for coming, Ryan Lauer, one of our representatives, and again, I know they have
a lot of things going on, so appreciate attendance. Ryan is a co-author, with
Representative Behning, on a K-12 bill that deals
with career ladders, HB1008, a career ladders is a bill that
would provide opportunities for teachers to make more money
in the teaching profession without having to change a job. So for example, right
now a person might think, boy, in order to make more money in the K through 12 education, I need to become an
administrator, as an example. So as opposed to
believing or thinking that or having to go through
whatever process is necessary to get to be an administrator,
maybe there’s another way to increase the earnings by just being a really
good classroom teacher, so that I think Ryan a real quick summary that bill is so much more,
I know tied into that. So information for Ryan. Jim is also here, so Jim Lucas, Jim if you’d stand, is Jim here? Thank you so much, Jim,
for being here today. Jim has a couple of things right now, again, tied to K through 12 education, handgun training for teachers,
he’s the author of that bill, so it’s a safety-related piece there, as well as education matters, which covers a variety of things, author of that one, which is HB1254. So maybe other things, but
as I was looking through, those were a couple of bills I saw tied to K through 12
education, and we would list, and again, some contact
information for Jim is listed. From a Senate standpoint,
Greg Walker is here, So Greg, if you would stand as well, thank you for coming, Greg,
appreciate his presence. Again, no bills file
listed there, but again, we’re talking specifically K through 12, Greg is very active. I haven’t had the chance
often to talk with Greg and look at the various
bills that we’re considering and have him listen to those,
contact information there too. Chip Perfect, I don’t think Chip is here, But information for
Chip, and then Eric Cook, not here too either, but
Eric has a couple of things. So one, people may have
heard about civic test as a graduation requirement. He is the author of SB132, and then another safety-related one in terms of prohibiting
those types of weapons, air or gas-operated
ones on school property, so a couple of bills that
Eric is involved with. So thanks again to our
legislators for being here, we greatly appreciate all that you do. We know that the tough job that you have, we just wanted to have the
opportunity for you to listen as well as everybody else
to hear the priorities that we have as a school corporation. Before I go any further, I know we have some elected
officials, others here, the mayor’s office, Jim, Mayor Lienhoop, thank you for being here. And then if we have any city council or county council members, I think I saw Elaine come in, for example. Any other elected officials
here in the audience? Tom is back here, okay. We greatly appreciate the
job of our elected officials. Again, it is a service-oriented piece, we believe we provide
a service as educators, we get into this profession to do that. People who choose to get
into an elected position are doing the same, and so
we really appreciate that. (audience applause)
Thank you. I also have my cabinet members here with me in the front row,
their job is to make sure that I’m articulating things correctly, so if you see one of them go like this, it probably means that
I misspoke on something, and they need to stand up and correct me. I’ve told them to make sure and do that, so as we go through some topics,
there are definitely topics that one of these individuals may be as well-versed or more so than me because they spend a lot of their day working through that particular item. So any one of these may at
some time need to help me out as we go through the topics that we have. We have others, I do wanna
thank you Shanda, in the back, and Jane, I don’t know if
Jane’s already stepped out for just helping us organize everything and put together this, a round of applause for those
two individuals in particular. (audience applause) We know the first time out, there are always gonna be
opportunities for improvement, so as soon as we get done
today, if you have one of those, say, “Jim, I have an opportunity
for improvement for you.” We will also digest that and say, “Here’s some things we can
do better the next time “that we have that,” but we will be giving you some
direction here at the end, as a call to action, just asking for some
additional assistance, including an email address
that will get to me if you need to help us
out one way or another. Okay, here’s the list of
legislative priorities we have. Again, you have a card that has those. And real quickly, we are going to talk about teacher recruitment and retention, increasing tuition support funding, removing barriers that restrict
access to On My Way Pre-K, extending the kindergarten
ADM cutoff date. I do need to clarify that one,
I did not word that one well, because we were talking
about early admittance, not just saying anybody
can get into kindergarten by this certain date, but there is an early admittance piece where we go through an
early admit process, and we screen a child
who’s not quite the age that you need to be to start school, because some kids are
ready to start school even when they’re not exactly that age. And so we’re looking at
that day specifically, not just overall the kindergarten date. So I’ll get into that a little bit here. Appropriate necessary funds to fulfill current statutory commitment. We have a growing English
language learner population, we wanna make sure we’re
meeting that group’s needs. And then the last piece, just making sure that we’re providing school
safety funding equitably across the schools in
the state of Indiana, so we have what we need to provide that safe and caring learning environment. Okay, digging in, the very
first one that we have, improving the teacher
recruitment and retention, and we added to that, by
promoting the profession and increase in teacher pay, which is something we
believe very strongly and from an educator standpoint. It is my opinion that over
the last decade, or so, there’s been an eroding
of the teaching profession in terms of how people look at it and potentially value that. And what we would like to see is making sure that
whatever steps can be taken, we restore that value, and there’re a variety of
ways perhaps to do that, but we also didn’t get into
that increase of teacher pay. We wanna be able to articulate
to our young people, those young, talented individuals
we have in our schools, that this is a profession that
need to seriously consider and go to school for, and come back to us, and be a strong educator
within our schools. And then we need to uplift the
profession of public schools instead of lamenting their costs and questioning the impact
on the lives of students, that is just something that we would like to see restored within
the state of Indiana and we’re hoping that we can
all help in regards to that. I’ll ad-lib here just a second. As we talk internally, and we listen to those in the community, and we try to recruit kids
to go into this profession, it, oftentimes, comes down
to a variety of things, but anecdotally, we see that
even with our own profession, teachers having a hard
time convincing their kids to go into the teaching profession. And two things will stand out in that, it’s a really hard job and doesn’t seem to be very
well-respected sometimes, and then how much will I make? And with those two things and
battling those two things, we want to see what we
gotta do to address that and give some assistance to
making those less of an issue when kids are looking at going into this very
worthwhile profession. When I graduated from
Indiana University in 1987 with an education degree, I’m a first generation
college kid in my family and getting a teaching degree and going out into the world of teaching, I did so with my chest puffed out, I’m not sure that’s always the case now, and we wanna restore that
in terms of making sure when you get an education degree, you are walking out into community believing that you’re extremely valued, people look up to you, and it is something that then can benefit you as well as the rest of the community. So ad-libbing a little bit, just making sure to get that in there in terms of where we are
with this particular topic. The second one kind of
tags into the first one, and these first two are in priority order, the next four, not necessarily, but we want to address, again, that teacher recruitment
and retention piece, we also wanna ensure that
there’s increased tuition support to our school corporations, and that can tie into helping
us with the teacher part. We didn’t wanna just randomly
say increase tuition support, we wanted to attach something to that, where this number comes from, the 1.5% above the cost
of living adjustment, is based upon our associations. I mentioned at the beginning, that we belong to a
variety of associations, whether it be the Indian
Urban Schools Association, the Indiana Association of
Public School Superintendents, the Indiana Association of
School Business Officials, all these different
groups that we work with, and this, through conversation, is a recommendation of those groups. So we’ve attached
ourselves as a corporation to recommendations coming
from other organizations in which we participate, so
that’s where that plus 1.5% is. We also have a bullet
about becoming creative with the overall budget. So two things, can we
add a percent increase in the tuition support,
and I know the challenges of going back and forth with that and what that could, or might, look like when we get to April 29, but
then also becoming creative. And I think there are efforts underway to do both of those things
right now in the statehouse, so I think the progress is being made, numbers are being reviewed
in both of these ways in terms of an increased dollar
amount of tuition support, and looking creatively at pieces. I’ll mention that the pension idea that Governor Holcomb had, is a way that there could
be dollars saved by us and therefore put back into teacher pay. So that is a creative idea that was provided in his
State of the State address that allows us to believe there are some opportunities there. HB1003 is another one
that’s been talked about, that may be a creative way, but I’m not gonna talk about that, I put a question mark on
it, or by it, on purpose, in terms of we’re still
trying to figure out the impact on BCSC. I said at the very beginning,
this is a BCSC conversation, we are not speaking for every other school corporation
in the state of Indiana, it’s BCSC, so we’re looking
at it through that lens, and that lens only. So with rationale for HB1003, Speaker Bosma and Representative Behning, both brought up these things
in terms of why certain bills or certain direction, might be necessary in the legislative session. So while the number of
teachers and students in our public schools have
essentially flatlined, administration and non-teaching
staff have ballooned, so we’ll look at that
through the lens of BCSC, and then also, we need to
have an open discussion about how do we have efficiencies and drive dollars to the classroom? There’s no question there
are things we can do, how do we more streamline
the operations of systems? That goes back to that bullet point of becoming creative with
the overall budget, HB1003, perhaps a part of that
conversation, but we’ll talk about, again, looking through BCSC’s lens, how we stand or how we might
compare to those two statements by two very influential legislators in terms of their work in the legislature. So looking at General Fund
history for BCSC from 2009 to now we’re first going to attack
this from a revenue standpoint, the dollars that have come in to our school corporation since 2009. So table, in 2009, we’ll just use 65, about 65 and a half million dollars, so we do get large amount
of money, without question, it’s a large amount of money coming, we have a lot of students to
serve, a lot of bills to pay. So we start with that in 2009 and 2010, a variety of reasons, but we had a decrease
of four million dollars. So from 2009 to 2010, there was a decrease of four
million with what we received, and then we began the increases, and you can see the
percent increase after, from 2009 to 2018, about 13%, okay? So the amount of dollars
that we’ve had increased, from a revenue standpoint, is about 13%. If we had had increases, at least based upon
increases in inflation, or as inflation evolved and
move through those years, you can see how the numbers would line up, it’d be a little over 17%. So if we would receive dollars based upon, at least what inflation was, the percent would be 17. So 13 is we received, 17
if we would have matched up at least with a percent
increases in inflation. So that’s a graph with the difference with the bottom gold yellow line graph being a total state support,
so that is what we received, and then the next one, the one on top, the blue one, being with inflation. So we can see pretty easily each year, the difference between those two numbers. And if the top one had been
the amount that we received, compared to the bottom one,
the difference would be at the bottom there, about $42 million. So from 2009 to 2018, there’s
a difference of $42 million, in terms of if the
money had been available from the state of Indiana, a decision has been made
to put dollars toward that, then that would be what we would have
looked at as an increase. So that’s just as a graph
depicting that funding gap and again, this is from BCSC’s perspective and in terms of looking at it as a gap. So that’s the revenue side. So just real quick statement again, this is what we received,
about 13% increase over that period of time, and now what are our
expenditures for BCSC, how do we spend our
monies that we receive? Our General Fund expenditures
from 2009 to 2018, a real quick, and this
can get muddy and dirty, when we’re talking about the
different funds and schools, but for a while, we had the General Fund, so General Fund is listed here, the money we get for the General Fund is the money we get from
the state of Indiana. At one time, we got those dollars from both a combination of
state of Indiana dollars and property taxes to
go to the General Fund, that was changed in 2008, 2009. So General Fund is state monies that we’re getting to
basically run the business, the other funds that are available to us would be capital projects, and it kind of is what it sounds like, here you’re doing things to building, technology might be in that, utilities is went back and
forth, it might be in that, but capital projects, you have
transportation replacement, and so to buy new school buses,
you have a fund for that, you have just transportation
operating costs. So put the school buses aside, you’re just now running the buses, paying for bus drivers, et cetera, then you have debt service. So using property taxes to pay for any debt that you might have. So that’s the way the funds
kind of were until this year, and I’ll get into that a little bit later, but if we just look at the General Fund, money we received from
the state of Indiana, and how we’re going to use
that, how we take the money that the legislation has determined would be appropriate for our schools, this is how we decided to spend it. So from 2009 to 2018,
General Fund dollars, dollars we received from the state, not property tax dollars, I wanna keep reinforcing that for you, so you’re a property taxpayer
in Bartholomew County, money’s not going into here. Now, other taxes you pay,
or you go to get gas, or you buy something at Target or you, income taxes, gambling taxes,
whatever else you might have, that we’re paying taxes on
to the state of Indiana, well, is going to the state and then coming back
to us in General Fund, but your property taxes
are not in this pie chart. In this particular
situation, 95% of our dollars from the state, went to
salaries and benefits, so that’s a starting point. In terms of the expenditure
increases over that time, so as we received our money, that plus 13% dollars from 2009 to 2018, how do we take those increases
and where do we put those? We took over 100% of that money, and put it toward salaries and benefits, and how to get over 100%, you
have to do something else, so we had to cut in some other places. And so that is what occurred
because we gave those dollars and more, to salaries and benefits. This particular chart indicates the General Fund salary
expenditures by category. So we’re talking about, here’s all the salaries and benefits, but your next question might
be, okay, so who’s making what, where is that money going to, well, it’s paying the
salaries of different people, and this says that 73% go into
teacher salaries and stipends for BCSC, about 8% go to administrators, nurses is a percent, teachers
assistants, a little over 5%, substitutes, a little
over 1%, custodial, 7%, we have 21 buildings in
our school corporation, other non-certified, so there you’ve got other support staff, about 5%, and then we have another
category that’s about 0.5%. So that’s the breakdown of
people in our school corporation, and the percentage of dollars that go toward those many people to do the job that we have to do. And some of those increases in other areas besides the classroom, are simply based upon
the needs that we have. I think the educators who are in the room could quickly attest to the
changing needs of our students. Every day, it seems like
there’s another need that we have to address. The opioid crisis, I see Jeff here, that has an impact in
our kids in many ways. So as we try to address those needs, sometimes it requires us to spend money on things that somebody might say that’s not spending money
in the classroom, we get it, is spending money on a nurse, for example, spending money on a classroom reducing the ratio of
teachers to students, it’s not, and it’s not
increasing teacher pay either, but it’s providing a resource
that we think we have to have. We now do have a school nurse,
in each one of our buildings to make sure and take care of
the many needs of our kids. We are adding mental health counselors into the school system, we’re adding school resource officers into the school system, so
other roles, responsibilities, that we think are necessary
to provide support to the job that we’re trying to do, but it does then add
percentages to other places. From a classroom perspective, as we want to put as many
dollars as we possibly can to the classroom situation,
we would probably look at, we wouldn’t probably, these
are the areas we look at, teacher salaries and
stipends, teacher assistants, who are in the classroom directly helping teachers
with their students, and then substitutes. And I like to point that out
because that dollar is there to, hopefully, continue on
the day as well as we can when we have to have a substitute teacher. So if we look at those three categories, where about 80%, then, of
dollars in those three categories from our General Fund, when the salaries and benefits
go into the classroom. So there’s 20% left, going to the various other
places that we might have. This gets into the increases by category. So going back to that 100% of dollars, so this is the old chart that we had, it was a few slides ago that said, “We spent over 100% of our new money “on salaries and benefits.” And so, “Okay, great, where
did you put that new money, “How was that broken up?” And we put about 79% of that
into salaries and stipends, 5% administrators, a percent to nurses, 9% teacher assistants, a percent to subs, four, four, and had to drop dollars in other places in order
for that all to work out. So we try to paint this picture in terms of, at least
from BCSC’s perspective, with the dollars that
we’re being provided, we believe that we’re putting them in the places that we need to, to make a difference with
the learning of our students. Realizing we always have opportunities, we’re trying to put the
money in those places. And we specifically
want to point that out, given many of the conversations
that are going on, as we look at different things,
different ways to address, I’m not interested in this becoming a teacher versus administrator standpoint, I’ve heard that across
the state of Indiana, it’s easy to start that
conversation, I get it, because it certainly is
a place for money to go, but we want to at least give
the data, so with the data, you can make your decision
or derive your opinion as to how the dollars are being spent, but the hard numbers are these and this is how the
Corporation, from 2009 to 2018, has spent its money. In regards to House Bill 1003, so placing that then into context, House Bill 1003 is a bill, and
I may not word it properly, so Ryan, Greg, anybody else
needs to help me with this, but basically, it is saying
you now have two funds. When I was talking about
the General Fund earlier, I was mentioning all
these funds that we have that we had kind of siloed out, but we could spend money
from the legislators, so let’s make this a little
bit more easy for you. Let’s just create two funds, the Education Fund will
basically be that General Fund that you have, or had before, and we’re gonna give
state dollars to that, spend it on education, and that’s defined in a variety of ways, but basically money to the
classroom to help students learn, and then we have an
Operations Fund that we have, which your property taxes will go into. So versus all those
other silos that I gave, with transportation,
being either operating, or buying new buses, or capital projects, fixing up a new building,
or renovating and building, whatever the case might be, here’s this just an Operations Fund, here’s an Education Fund, okay? So we have those two
things we’re working with. So, House Bill 1003
would say, I think says, “We’re giving you money
into your Education Fund, “and let’s not transfer,
from the Education Fund, “any more than 15%.” Is that summarizing it well
enough, Greg, Ryan, Jim, okay. And I might ask you to help
me with that here in a second. So it may be looked at two
ways, let’s try to spend 85%, educationally, specifically
toward the classroom, or maybe conversely looking at it, let’s not transfer 15% out of education, or more than 15% out of
education operations. The reason for that, I believe, would be, we want you to concentrate
the money we gave you in the Education Fund, on
education, but quotes around that, and not transfer to into operations to help you then renovate a building, pay for bus transportation, do whatever else you might
do out of the operating fund, keep the money as best you
can in the Education Fund, don’t transfer into the Operations Fund, We have the flexibility
to do that right now. so when that bill is enacted,
that created those two funds, we had the flexibility right now to go back and forth within those funds, more flexibility than we had when we had the five
other funds that we had. So, in looking at that, I first wanted to point
out our property taxes. I think this is a plus again, for BCSC, with our property tax rates. So from 2010 to now, those have been our pretty
consistent tax rates, so we’ve not jumped up
any one year by too much, and it’s pretty impressive
given that we’ve got a lot of buildings in
renovations in that timeframe. Dr. Kwik and others have
gotten a lot accomplished in 21 buildings, and maintained
this kind of tax rate, so our average is that almost 87 cents over that period of time. The Indiana mean tax rate is
98, so that’s the average, so a lot more that are higher than that, than others that are lower, we’re continuing to the low side of that. Total losses since tax caps introduced So when we look at just things that have happened from
2008, really, to now, that might impact our ability
to do a variety of things, because of tax caps, our
Operations Fund might be hampered. And if the Operations Fund is hampered in its ability to do things
because we have less ability to collect property taxes
to spend on that fund, then we might have to transfer some money from the Education Fund. Now I’m gonna give you some
numbers indicating that BCSC, looks in pretty good shape when it comes to comparing it to HB1003. But there are factors
that exist, or can exist, that could make that a challenge. So as we look at property taxes, and what we’re able to collect,
the property tax cap wall has impacted us by over $11 million. So because of tax caps
in the last nine years, at least 2010 to now,
there are over $11 million that we would have otherwise collected, and right now, that be
going to the Operations Fund versus the Education Fund. So just wanna put that
information in front of you. In regards to the transfer,
specifically then to HB1003, the question being, are you
going to transfer less than 15%? The bill’s not been enacted yet, but we wanna know where do we stand in case then bill goes through, this is what we are looking at, we’ll be transferring
from the education budget to the operations one
in 2019, those numbers, and you see the different reasons why it comes to a total of $7.7 million. The reason my office and the board expenses
are up there is because my title, my office, has been
placed in the Operations Fund, so we can debate where it should be, regardless where that
debate would end up with, it’s in the Operations Fund. So as we get money in the Education Fund, there are some things that
are the Operations Fund that we might have
transfer some dollars over to help pay for those. And so those are the list of
things that we believe we have, it total $7.7 million. We have some tech expenses that we would look to move
actually from one to the other, it’s about $1.8 million, so
the net transfer we look at, is really $5.9 million from
education to operations. With a $75.9 million
Education Fund budget, that would be just short of 8%. So from our standpoint, 15% or not, as an enacted rule in HB1003, we’re sitting pretty
comfortably in regards to that, but I know with the
research that’s being done that the other corporations
that may not be in such a situation, but we wanna, again, look at it through BCSC’s lens with the various bills
that are being considered and let you know where
we stand on those pieces. So from our standpoint,
again, and then things that I have heard,
listened to, as we all work to make this work out as well as possible, I referenced that
teacher-administrator piece, and I hate that it becomes
that kind of conversation, but given it’s out there, we
wanna know at least delineate, here are where dollars are going. And again, we can debate whether or not those percentages should be different, but you saw the hard numbers in terms of how we’re spending money and where those dollars are going. The second piece is HB1003 is
one that’s being talked about in terms of this is a way to ensure that a certain amount of money is going back to the classrooms, and so if that ends up being the case, already, we’re only transferring
about half of that 15% from education into operations. I didn’t know more than
half of the districts do plan to transfer more than 15%, I’ve heard a variety of numbers there, I think the data probably is
rough at this point in time, the one thing I would say
is this is our first year of operating with this new
way of looking at funding, so education versus operations, it’s the first time we’ve done that. So none of us have hard data to say that this will be the transfer. At the end of 2019, we’ll have hard data, we’ll know how much we transferred. The end of 2020 we’ll
have even better data, but it looks like maybe more
than half of the districts would plan to transfer more than 15%. And then we do wonder, so
I just tossed that out, the one thing I wanna caution
just our legislators on, is we want to maintain
local control on contracts. And so if HB1003, in any way, is a step toward a statewide salary scale, we would caution that being the case. So hopefully it’s not, it’s just, again, that as we read things, we ponder that and just wanna make sure
to throw that out there with anything that’s
considered with HB1003, or any other bill, we wanna stay away from
a statewide salary scale and give local corporations the ability to do what is best for their communities, for their staff members. So in summary, with all this
revenue expenditure stuff, real quick, we see that
nearly 95% of our expenditures go to salaries and benefits. We know that we have already increased the per cent of money
spent in the classroom by cutting other things, so
we’ve been going down that path, we’ve maintained a
consistently low tax rate, in spite of tax cap losses during the time frame
that we’re talking about. The education operations transfer
is, for us is nearly half, or only half, of the
15% threshold in HB1003. We don’t see 1003 for our situation, again, may be a creative
approach, may be a direction toward somehow finding
more money for teachers, at least in our case, we don’t see that impacting
the teacher salary case. Other things that are being proposed, legislatively, we see
that as being the case, if there’s an increase in tuition support, that could help us out, that piece that Governor Holcomb proposed, in giving out and using
paying off some debt in pension bonds, that allows us to save some money in
house, can help us greatly, so that’s a creative approach, but we don’t see this particular one. And then we are worried
about the potential for pressure to be placed
in Operations Fund. So if we limit the amount of dollars that go into the Operations Fund, and therefore we have to do something to raise more money in
the Operations Fund, that might mean us going
back to taxpayers and saying, “We have to have some more dollars here.” The only way that we can
increase our Operations Fund is to increase tax dollars. And we worry about potential
for pressure there. We would hate to come back to taxpayers and have increased dollars there, particularly the way things
have been managed thus far. So going from that, I do
wanna just pause for a second, Ryan, Jim, 1003, any better
explanation than that, or anything that might
help with that piece? – I would say it’s it’s
important to note in 1003, that the 15% is not a requirement, it’s not a mandate.
– Let me give this, just to make sure people can hear. – In 1003, the 15% is not
a requirement or a mandate, it’s putting transparency and highlighting what school corporations are doing with the percentage of the state dollars and making sure that the public has that information available. I think our schools are sending
even more than 85%, 92, 95% to the classroom, and that’s a very important number. So, that was–
– Okay, thank you. Jim, anything to add? Okay, thanks. Okay, thank you, sir.
– Oh, one more thing. – Yep, it was mentioned that 1003 may be moving
towards state mandated, paid (mutters) for
teachers from the state. There is no appetite to do that, the Republican caucus will not do that. We want local control over
our salaries for our teachers. – Appreciate that extra comment there. Thank you, Ryan for helping clarify that. I was waving Shanda down here, she’s trying to help remind
me how much time we have, so we’ll try to work through these, so we make sure to have
time for questions. Those first two items, we knew would take the most time, again, priority for us, BCSC’s standpoint, to try to figure out
how to boost our ability to recruit and retain quality teachers. In the process, we think you do that by making sure the profession is perceived the way we
all believe it should be, and that there’s more money available for increase in teacher pay, that second part, digging
into the data that we have to lay out how we have
approached our revenues and expenditures over time. And we believe we situate
ourselves pretty well, and therefore, I think it’s wrong just to walk around with your hand out, asking for more money. So if we’re going to do that, we need to be able to
indicate, from our standpoint, how we’ve already utilized the dollars that have been provided to us. And I hope that we have a compelling story in terms of how those dollars have been utilized
efficiently and effectively, and then can put our hand
out and ask for more money. The next pieces, On My Way Pre-K is great, that Bartholomew County
is one of the counties, is it 15 counties? – 20, 20.
– 20, now, yeah. Thank you, Kathy. 20 counties in the state of
Indiana have this opportunity through On My Way Pre-K to
potentially provide students, four-year-old children, the ability to go to pre
kindergarten free of charge. So we have Pre-K through
our school system, but for the most part, and there are variety of
things that can happen, but you pay to go to our Pre-K, or maybe reduced rate or maybe it’s free, but On My Way Pre-K provides dollars from the state of Indiana that come to us to help with that situation. So it’s good, it’s a great situation that we have that
opportunity in this county, we’re only 20, again, out of
91 in the state of Indiana, but we see 92 counties, yeah, 92. We see two potential barriers,
and there’re probably more, but two that have jumped out to us that we’d like to just see some help with because we don’t like these
barriers being in place and we’re trying to
get kids into our Pre-K that we think are eligible, but they’re not qualifying
on the backside of that. So there’s an income piece first of all, and so if I qualify, from
an income standpoint, what might be the things that can keep me from having my child, or
grandchild in this case, get into Pre-K? Well, one of them might
be I’m a grandparent who’s now raising my grandchild,
we see that all the time. We have great grandparents
raising children in our school system, that’s
not what they planned for, it probably wasn’t in
their retirement plans, if they were fortunate
enough to have the ability to set up a proper retirement plan, but they find themselves raising a child. And now they’re trying to
get them into On My Way Pre-K and a couple of specific
criteria for qualifying is you need to be working, and you need if you’re not working, you need to be enrolled in some kind of educational opportunity to give you the opportunity to work. So those two things there,
that make it real hard for a retired grandparent,
or grandparents. So that’s one example, that we’d just like to have considered as we go through, and how those kinds of
barriers get removed. The second one is the value
of a stay-at-home parent. I was going back to being raised, going to college first generation, for the most part of my life,
I had a stay-at-home mom, and that was wonderful for us, growing up. I know the ability to do that
is more and more challenging, the need to have two income
earners in the household, but when we say that
both parents have to work for a child to get into On My Way Pre-K, then a family who’s
worked really hard at it, one of the two is is out working, doing the best that he or she can, the other one’s staying
home with the child, doing the things that we want, we need more parent support, we need them taking care of their kids, getting ready, they’re
spending time with them, making them more prepared
for Pre-K or kindergarten, but then this removes that opportunity. So we wanna call out publicly,
or reference those publicly, as two situations we have come across in trying to get kids into
our On My Way Pre-K program, that are barriers that, we’d
like to have looked at to see, what’s the wording, ’cause
we understand the intent in terms of needing people to either work, or being going to school to work, we want that to be the case, but when then it results in
a couple of key pieces here, we’d like to have that looked at. The fourth one, and I
have this in italics, versus the other just a
straightforward way of putting it because of that kindergarten piece. So I did change the title
here to remind myself to mention early infants or early admit. On your card, again, it says kindergarten, and so what we’re talking about here is recent legislative action. So last year changed the date for which we could enroll
a kindergarten student and get credit for them on ADM. So for an example, we might
have a four-year-old last year who turned five in September, so it was after the date for
which you should turn five to get into kindergarten,
but we screened the child, the child was ready for kindergarten, parents had the child prepared, and it was the appropriate
decision to let them start early. So we do that, for the
first time this past year we did not get funding for that child. So the 11,300-plus kids
we had in our school, we get funding for 11,300
of them and not this one, or two, or Laura, how many did we actually
approve last year? 17. And that’s not atypical, that’s a few less than
we typically let in, but the numbers that we have seen, will have applications in the 20s, 30s, and most of the time, it seems those birth dates
are in August, September, maybe October in terms of a
parent saying, we’re close, kid’s ready, can we get them in? And then we, again, screen
to try to make that work. Well, there’re variety of
reasons the legislature did that. There were school corporations
across the state of Indiana that had created basically a
two-year kindergarten program. And by doing that, there
were a heck of a lot of kids going to kindergarten at age four, and schools getting that kill,
and that changed the math when it comes to the amount of dollars that available for kids K through 12. And so that legislation was put in, it impacted us in terms of
just trying to figure out how to handle that, we
still let some kids in, but we would advocate for making sure that cutoff date is a later date. The reason we put October 1 there, is it’s after the count day. So at least if we know a kid
is five through the count day, which is typically the
middle of September, and count day again is a
really important day for us because based on how many kids we have, we get $1 per kid, and
that comes back to us, so we wanna have kids
counted on that count day. So that’s the reason for the October 1, whatever that might be to
align with the count day, but we like to have that. BCSC has had four years, a
rigorous process in place to evaluate whether or not a kid is ready for kindergarten early, and then have admitted them
based upon that process. And so we just want to have
that flexibility restored, we can continue to do it, obviously, but we’re not gonna get credit for the job from an ADM standpoint. Given everything else
I’m saying about dollars, it seems like a way to to
add dollars back properly. So we would advocate
for that to be the case. There is a bill out there
now, and I don’t know, Jim or Greg, what that number is, but there is a bill that
does change the date, but then it there’s a piece in there about the child only
being funded for 13 years. So K through 12 is 13 years,
right, and so, by doing that, if the child would become a
fifth year senior, for example, or for some reason, maybe the screening didn’t go exactly as well
as we want, I don’t know, maybe the child gets
held back in first grade, then that becomes the 14th
year, at some point in time, so there’ll be funding somehow fall off. (man speaks off mic)
– I don’t, Greg, no. One of you maybe take a quick look and see if we can pull that up, yeah. So that that would be just an idea is that regardless of 13th, we would advocate not to have a 13th year, but just change that date so
that it’s far enough back, that we can allow a student
to come and get ADM for them. Now, if a student is
turns five in December, that’s a whole different conversation. still might let them into the school based upon a preparedness level, but we see those as different. The fifth one here is to
appropriate the necessary funds to fulfill current statutory commitment to English language learners. There is statutory language already about the number of dollars to provide in regard to the
number of students you have that are English language learners. What appears to have happened, and maybe it’s similar to what happened with the whole kindergarten thing and two years of
kindergarten, all of a sudden, the number of students in the state was higher than we
thought, and a part of that was because we have a
bunch of four-year-olds being counted in school
corporations across the state. The appropriation didn’t match the math in terms of the number of
dollars you would get per child. We are a growing school
corporation when it comes to ELL, we are one of the fastest growing, we are a school corporation that has a greater than 5% increase. That kicks us into an
accelerated situation in terms of the number of
dollars we would get per child, but whenever the dollars were,
the formula was actually run, the appropriation couldn’t fulfill that, and so we actually,
over the last two years, received $908,000 less than what the math would have indicated. So approaching a million dollars just based upon the ELL piece. We do have about 600
students, just as an FYI, so nearly 600 students
in our school corporation that benefit from our ability to provide appropriate English
language learner instruction, and every day, it seems like
we’re getting a new student in from another country who
speaks a different language, and it’s awesome, the diversity we have in our school corporation is really cool, that we speak about 60
languages now in our schools, but given that, there’s some support. Now, there’s some resources
that are necessary. So we ask that that would be reviewed to just take a look at
Gina, help me out here. Okay, the math, I think the calculations are based upon 600, so 1,200 total? – That’s above the threshold.
– Got it, yes, yes, okay. Yeah, thank you, that’s why
they’re here to raise their hand and correct me on things. There were two numbers we
had to do the calculation, about 600 in one and 600 in the other, I looked at that as per year, the one gave us the first
flat line of dollars, the next accelerated
the number of dollars. We have about 1,200 students
who are actually contributing to our ELL population. So 11,500 kids, approximately
at Pre-K in our system, and 1,200 of them are English
language learners, thank you. The very last one I’ll share with you is just providing school safety. There’re, again, a lot of bills out there that are trying to address this. We all understand the
need for school safety. We, as a corporation, have
done a lot of things recently. Just at the bottom I site
over around $2 million, just in recent months, to try to address the needs that we have, both from a hardening of
the school corporation, so single points of
entry, locked vestibules, software, hardware, from
a technology standpoint, increased numbers of cameras,
school resource officers, mental health counselors, all those things going into helping us
from a safety standpoint. So we would just ask that
the whatever dollar amount is there now to increase
that dollar amount, so make more money available to schools across the state of Indiana, that we minimize the
match that has to occur. I know there is a bill out there that is basing that match
upon the size of schools, so I have not acknowledged Shawn, Shawn thank you for coming, Shawn Price from Flat
Rock-Hawcreek, our Superintendent, to our north and east,
appreciate Shawn being here, smaller school cooperation,
different needs, maybe different ability, even, to match, based upon the grant
that might be available, so let’s fix that so that
that math can be accomplished, or reduce the competitive nature of that. We would like for all schools
to have access to dollars, all 300 school corporations
in the state of Indiana, and then also to increase the flexibility. And I think, again, there
is legislation out there that would allow for things like social and emotional
health, to be addressed through the safety grants
or safety dollars available, we see that as a need. We have said many times as we’ve done safety improvements
in our school corporation that regardless of what we do from a hardening of the building, the most important thing we
do is develop the social, and emotional health and
wellbeing of our kids, and develop relationships
between our adults and our kids. And that is a key piece for us, and we’re hoping that we’re
doing a good job of that, but having mental health
counselors are helpful. Fortunately for us, just a quick aside, related to the mental health counselors, we were very blessed to
get a Heritage Fund grant, and a Lilly Grant, that allowed
us to have over $1 million over a period of four years to begin putting mental health counselors in our school system. Not everybody has the opportunity
to capture those dollars, so how else can they find them? Maybe it’s through some legislation or some allocation of dollars that would allow that
to be available to them. So those are the items we have, I won’t flip back through and
review those, on your card, you have the six different
legislative priorities we’ve identified as a school
corporation that are key to us as we work our way through
this legislative session. There are dozens of other things
we’re paying attention to, but to try to narrow
that down, prioritize it, articulate that for you, that’s
what we have ended up with. So from a call to action
standpoint, what can you all do? One is help us promote public education, of the teaching profession. It is a really cool job, I
think all the educators in here would attest to that. And we wanna make sure that
everybody else understands that, it’s a profession that people are saying, “I wanna go into that,” and we need help. We’re trying internally to figure out different ways to do that, to, again, recruit kids that are
already in our schools, how do we get them to go off
to college and come back, we know that keeping them at home was is maybe the best way to do that, so as we work internally,
we also need your help to help boost, promote that profession. If there are topics that
are included in here that you’d like to investigate further, please do that, learn more about that, and help us out to
understand those better. Contact us for more
information on this next slide. You have my address, and we’ll get to that
here in just a second, reach out to legislators. So again, very grateful
for our legislators taking the time to join us here today, important that they do that
and they are available. I never have any problem
reaching out to our legislators, having them pick up the phone and listen to what I have
to say, and vice versa, getting calls from them as they’re pondering a particular bill, and just asking what we think, and at least getting that perspective from their local school corporation, so we greatly appreciate that. And then tell our story. And I put a little quote on there, we can’t speak for other
school corporation, but we believe we’re
providing evidence to you of how efficiently we are using the state and local property tax
dollars available to us. And a reminder that bill like
HB1003, it will not help us, again, looking through BCSC’s lens only, we don’t see that being a benefit to us to help with teacher salaries, which is a key thing
that we’re looking at. We would like for legislators to improve and increase
in tuition support, that’s being suggested, there
are some numbers out there, and to creatively identify other ways to free up dollars for teachers, and I am being very specific for teachers. It’s always the danger of doing that, because we have a lot
of great professionals within our school corporation
who all deserve a raise, right, and in the professions
in which you work, you have workers working
with you, for you, that you can say that each
of them deserve an increase in salary because none of them make what you would like to pay them. In this case, this legislative session, the new dollars we’re looking at, we were looking at teacher
salary specifically and trying to address that and help as well as we possibly can. So that is the information that I have. In regards to contacting me,
again, that is my address that will go through first, Jane, and Jane helps me then
make sure I see that and make sure we respond. So we’re more responsive to that one than probably my Roberts J. one, because Jane is there to help
me with that particular one. It goes through two people versus just me, So you will get a response
if you send something. And then we don’t use social media a lot for legislative stuff,
Twitter would be the one that we would more likely
use for legislative work, if we are in session or we
have one of us perhaps there and in attendance at a hearing
or something like that, but there’s a heck of a
lot of good things going on that we’d like for you to pay attention, and our Instagram and Twitter
handle is @BCSCIndiana, Facebook, just go to Bartholomew Consolidated
School Corporation, or our homepage, you can actually get to each of those as well. But we are very active on social media and trying to post something daily, in regards to the great things going on in our school corporation. If you follow us on Facebook, for example, just put out a great one just yesterday, you know basketballs kind
of important to the state, the EBL tournament just occurred, so we have a great highlight video of the Elementary Basketball
League championship games that are need to check out if you go to our Facebook page.

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