By JOHN BADEN
Record Herald Writer
Courtesy of the Record Herald; Printed 10.28.12

TIPP CITY — Discussions on school finances and athletic code were at the heart of Tipp City’s board of education meeting Monday night.
With a budget needing to be filed before Oct. 31, the board talked about scenarios with cuts that would balance the school’s five-year forecast for 2013-2017 without projecting a millage levy.
Superintendent Dr. John Kronour recommended some starting points he and treasurer Joseph Smith suggested. The recommendations include increasing the pay-to-participate fees for athletics, clubs, drama and music; moving to a 2-mile, no-transportation zone and doing away with high school busing; cleaning each school building two to three times a week; going from an eight-period day to a seven-period day for the middle school; sending out electronic district newsletters; and freezing benefits and wages.
While the board has in the past plugged in a levy number to solve the problem in the school financial forecast, board member Scott Dixon finds the cut list to be reasonable if the finances do not become available.
“Whatever this list ends up looking like at the end of the day, a month from now or two months from now when we meet on it and decide some things, I think it will be a good road map for the public to see if there’s no additional money for the next five years, these are the things that the board will have to put in place in order to keep the budget balanced,” Dixon said.
While the board collectively agreed that a work session will be needed to discuss the list further in the coming month or so, board member Carla Frame did not support the submission of the five-year forecast with the concern the public may perceive the rough, preliminary plan as a done deal.
While the board approved the administrative recommendation 4-1, the board will have until May 2013 to resubmit a finalized plan of action.
“To me, this keeps us within state guidelines, and it also gives us time to formulate a plan,” Smith said.
While residents could see another levy on the ballot early next year, the board plans to further discuss the school’s finances and gather input from the public in the coming months.
Due to parent requests, the board is looking at revising the Athletic Code policy.
According to Kronour, some parents in the school’s boosters group are pushing for Tipp to initiate pre-season and random drug testing of the school’s athletes. This is due to instances over the past few summers, predominantly drinking issues, said Krouour.
Kronour believed that a survey might give the school more information on where the community is at with this issue.
The bigger issue for the board was to identify the part the school plays in the behavior of its students, particularly its athletes, and where to draw the line.
“I don’t think it’s a proper role of the school to be policing the student’s behavior outside of school, and something bothers me a little bit when I hear of an investigation going on by administrators about something going on during off-school hours,” President Tom Merritt said.
Concerns arose by board members about if the school chooses to change their code, is it condoning bad behavior by its students. Others however believed that in some areas, the school must notify the parents only and leave it up to them and police to decide the consequences.
“We don’t need to overstep our bounds,” board member Kate Johnsen said. “That’s what police officers are trained to do.”
Kronour ended by saying he would inform the school’s athletic council of the board’s opinion on the matter. If the Athletic Council submits a recommendation, the board will vote on it at a future meeting.

 

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