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 CAB Finalizes Bond to Pay for Special Services

January 7, 2009 - As the first matter of business at its last meeting of 2008, the Charles A. Beard School Board finalized an $850,000 bond issue intended to satisfy a judgment CAB owed the New Castle Community School Corporation.

Board members were advised at the outset of their Dec. 16 meeting that bonds issued to pay a nearly $760,000 debt owed for CAB’s participation in New Castle Area Special Services, a special education coop administered by NCCSC, had been sold. The successful bidder was City Securities Corporation (Indianapolis), who agreed to pay 99 percent of the bonds’ principal amount.

Attorney Mike Wallman -- finishing up this final piece of business for CAB after the board decided not to renew his contract -- told the board he expected to meet with bond counsel from Indianapolis law firm Ice Miller the following morning. Superintendent Gary Storie said CAB expected to have the money from City Securities by the week’s end, allowing the debt to be paid before the end of the year.

From February 2007 to February 2008, CAB failed to pay four sizeable special education payments to NCCSC totaling $757,781.18, a fact that was not shared with the public until last August, 18 months after CAB stopped making the payments. In early October, one week after NCCSC sued to recover the debt, CAB agreed to have a judgment entered against it for the full amount.

According to an amortization schedule given to board members, CAB is expected to pay back over two years a total of $889,884.38 on the bond issue, which includes nearly $40,000 in interest. While the money to pay this will come from CAB’s Debt Service Fund, Storie said at the Dec. 16 meeting that he didn’t expect this to result in a “significant impact on the rate” on property tax bills.

The bonds have three maturity dates: Jan. 15, 2010 ($335,000); July 15, 2010 ($245,000); and Jan. 15, 2011 ($250,000). The respective interest rates for bonds maturing on these dates are three percent for the first two and 3.25 percent for the last one.

In other financial business at the Dec. 16 meeting, the board, acting on a recommendation from Storie, approved a resolution creating a Rainy Day Fund. Storie explained that state statute allows school corporations to create RDFs and transfer into them balances remaining in other funds at the end of the year. The money can then be used to make up for any revenue shortfalls in taxpayer-supported funds, or for unexpected or emergency capital expenditures.

Storie told the board he would like to get $75,000-$100,000 into the RDF. He said CAB currently has about $46,000 in its Special Education Preschool Fund and that most of this could be transferred into the RDF, as could some money in CAB’s Capital Projects Fund.

The board also voted at the Dec. 16 meeting to adopt a plan related to certain tax-sheltered annuities offered to CAB employees. Storie said the plan was developed in response to new IRS regulations that have shifted responsibility for this task, previously handled by the vendors who administered the tax-deferred saving accounts, to local school corporations.

The board voted to approve transfers of appropriations that Storie described as a “year-end bookkeeping action.” He told board members they would receive an accounting of all the transfers, which were not detailed for them prior to their vote, at the board’s January meeting.

Final action was taken on four policies at the Dec. 16 meeting. Getting the board’s approval on second reading were a student drug testing policy that will start with the 2009-2010 school year, and policies dealing with special education funding, oversight of student teachers, and board member notification of special meetings.

The board also approved on first reading an amended policy on students who live outside the CAB district who want to transfer in to the school corporation. Final action on this matter is expected to come at the board’s January meeting.

On Storie’s recommendation, the board voted to allow CAB students in grades 7-12 to partipate, on a voluntary basis, in a statewide survey on drug and alcohol use. Storie said the survey, which carries no cost for CAB, will be administered between February and April, with results expected back by August.

In personnel matters, the board received resignations from Knightstown High School French teacher Vicki Kamps and from technology assistant Jason Groce. The board approved hiring Jenna Moore to replace Kamps, as well as following persons: Emily McCorkle (half-day kindergarten teacher at Kennard Elementary); Michele Underwood (temporary contract at Knightstown Elementary from Jan. 6-March 16); Tisha Schultz (extend temporary contract as first grade teacher at Kennard through end of current school year); and Eugene Meek (full-time bus driver, route 11); Stephen Franklin (substitute bus driver).

The board also approved two extracurricular appointments: Josh Griggs (volunteer KHS boys basketball); and Cary Ellis (KHS boys golf).

As reported in last week’s Banner, the board also voted at its Dec. 16 meeting to give a nearly 13-percent raise to Mike McKillip, CAB’s facilities director. Transportation Director Janet White salary of $44,571 was kept the same despite the fact that responsibility for CAB’s grounds was taken from her and given to McKillip. The board also voted to increase the daily rate for bus drivers by 2.6 percent and to give drivers a two-percent retroactive raises to cover the past two school years.

Board approval was given to two field trips for CAB’s FFA organization. Students will travel to a farm machinery show in Louisville on Feb. 13, and to an overnight leadership workshop in Trafalgar on Jan. 30.

The school board’s next regular monthly meeting will be Tuesday, Jan. 20, in the media center at KHS, 8149 W. U.S. Hwy. 40. The board will also hold a special meeting a week prior to that, at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 13, in the board room at CAB’s central office, 345 N. Adams St. The purpose of that meeting, which is open to the public, is to discuss strategic planning for the school corporation.


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