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School Corp. Gets $1.5 Million Loan
May 7, 2008 - The Charles A. Beard School Board has voted to borrow $1.5 million to help the school corporation stay financially afloat in the face of tardy property tax disbursements.
Bids from two private banking institutions were received at the school board's April 15 meeting for tax anticipation warrants that will secure the loan. With its three-percent interest rate being the lowest, the board accepted Star Financial's bid over that of MainSource Bank, whose interest rate was 3.49 percent.
The board's action was prompted by the fact that CAB, like other local units of government in Henry and Rush counties, has not received its spring property tax disbursement. CAB's interim superintendent, Ray Pavy, told board members it could be October before the first property tax draw for 2008 is received from Henry County, and even later for Rush County.
Business Manager David Bundy told the board that CAB could end up paying as much as $25,000 in interest on the loan. He also said it's possible that CAB might need to borrow more later in the year depending on when property tax draws are received.
Board member Debi Ware, who works for Star Financial, did not participate in discussion of this issue and abstained from the vote approving Star Financial's bid. She also abstained from a board vote appointing board member Leah Kopp to temporarily replace her as board secretary for the purpose of signing the resolution approving Star Financial's selection.
In other business, the board also approved two partial full-day kindergarten programs for CAB's elementary schools. At Carthage and Kennard, full-day kindergarten will be offered for the school's lower-performing, disadvantaged Title I students, who will have their days split between a regular kindergarten teacher and a Title I teacher.
"This is a type of intervention," Pavy said. The extra time for Title I students will be used, he said, to help these students with math and language arts.
For Knightstown Elementary, the board approved a pilot program that will provide students with a half dose of full-day kindergarten. Pavy said two groups of students will alternate between weeks of two half days-three full days, and three half days-two full days.
Pavy told the board the kindergarten programs were "bottom-up recommendations" that came from teachers, and that no extra staff would need to be hired. He also said the programs are not mandatory, with participation left to the discretion of parents and teachers.
The board received notice from speech and hearing teacher Beth Willard that she will be retiring at the end of this school year after 28 years with CAB. The board also approved John Vanosdol as a volunteer coach for the girl's softball team.
An out-of-state field trip to Philadelphia, Pa., by the KHS History Club in April 2009 received board approval. Students will visit Valley Forge National Historic Park, Independence Hall, the National Constitution Center, the Liberty Bell and other sites.
The board heard presentations by Dan Webber, president of the Knightstown Neighborhood Crime Watch, and Tony Darling, a detective sergeant with the Henry County Sheriff's Department. Darling spoke about a recent incident where local students used their cell phones to forward to more than 200 others an "objectionable" photo of a classmate - an act he said could be a crime - and briefly discussed drug issues facing CAB students.
The board approved the disposal of 45 pieces of electronic equipment, including 15 computers, 21 monitors and seven printers. Bundy said CAB's technology director, Bruce Sowers, identified the equipment as non-functioning and "worthless."
Changes in the KHS curriculum guide for the 2008-2009 school year regarding graduation requirements received board approval, and payment of $137,166.23 in claims was OK'd. The school board's next regularly scheduled public meeting will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 20, in the central office at 345 N. Adams St., Knightstown.
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