Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Local News

February 21, 2012

Centerville School District looks at ways to cut costs as budget process begins

CENTERVILLE — A large portion of the Monday, Feb. 13 school board meeting was taken up with preliminary budget talks and looking at ways the school system might be able to lower expenses.

The cost saving options presented to the board by the administrators included the possibility of closing Cincinnati and Mystic Elementary schools as well as the elimination of around 30 employment positions.

According to superintendent Tony Ryan, the administrative team has met several times in the past two months to discuss cost saving options and began with looking at what the school system needs to offer to be accredited. They then looked at class sizes for each grade and Title I, special education and at risk budgets. At the high school level, they looked at how many sections of each class are offered. They also looked at how the buildings are currently being used, how space could be better used and how the Iowa Core, curriculum and staff development are being implemented.

Ryan then presented a list of possible cuts the administrative team thought the school district could handle based on class size and what Ryan described as "right sizing" the district.

"Right sizing our district would mean having the right amount of staff for the student enrollment we have," said Ryan.

But Ryan emphasized that the board and community should decide what the "right size" of the district should be, based on what they want to offer to students.

The list of possible cost saving cuts included the possibility of closing Cincinnati and Mystic Elementary schools and the loss of approximately 30 positions district wide. The positions include teachers, as well as assistants, tutors, support staff and other personnel from across the district.

Ryan stressed that the list was not a recommendation of what administrators thought should be cut, but what the district could possibly be able to handle based on projected enrollment. Any final decisions about cost saving cuts would be up to the board after more public input is gathered.

"This is not a recommendation by any means," said Ryan. "We're giving you some data of what we can do. It's not a plan. It's not an arm twisting." 

Board members asked questions about what possibly cutting positions could mean for class sizes and also how difficult it could be for a high school student to achieve honors diploma's when the amount of classes offered might be cut.

"If we're going to make changes in what we offer, do we have to make changes in what we expect from our students?" board member Marty Braster asked.

"Granted, you start taking away sections of a certain class offering, it's going to be a little more difficult to arrange class schedules," said Ryan. "It's going to take some forward thinking and planning from the students and the parents." 

The board decided to continue to look into possible cost saving cuts more and voted to set up a series of public input meetings to get responses from the community about the possible cuts before they discussed them any further.

There will be a public input meeting in Cincinnati on Thursday, March 1 at 6:30 p.m. There will be a public input meeting in Centerville on Monday, March 5 at 6 p.m. and there will be a public input meeting in Mystic on Tuesday, March 6 at 6:30 p.m.

The board also voted to hold a public hearing on the Instructional Support Levy on Thursday, Feb, 23 at 6:30 p.m. and to hold a work session Sunday, Feb. 26 at 2 p.m. They then scheduled a second work session for Monday, March 12 at 6:30 p.m. when the regular board meeting would normally be held and moved the regular meeting to Tuesday, March 13 at 7 p.m. They also scheduled the budget hearing for Monday, April 9 at 6:30 p.m. This will also be the board's regular monthly meeting as well as their annual meeting.

The school board also voted to offer a trimmed down early retirement package this year. Staff members have until March 31 to announce their retirement. They have to be at least 55 years old and to have worked for the school system for at least 10 consecutive years. They will receive a one time $5,000 payment for taking early retirement.

In other business:

The board voted to accept the retirement of Marilyn Foster and to give her the early retirement benefit. They also accepted the resignation of Janet Steven as eighth grade girls basketball coach. They approved the employment of Lauren Jones as assistant girls track coach and of Stephanie Banks as a substitute secretary at Centerville High School.

The board accepted the high bids on three vehicles. The accepted a bid of $1,531 from Stewart Everman for a 1998 school bus and a bid of $1,631 from Everman for a 1994 school bus. They also accepted an offer of $731.56 from Wallace Carter for a 2000 Ford Taurus.

The board reviewed and accepted the 2010-2011 district audit, but did ask for clarification about the recommendation that the school issue W2 forms to students who receive scholarships from the school district. Business manager Rob Busch said he would ask the auditors for more clarification.

The board voted to allow the same number of seasonal summer positions to be offered in 2012 as had been allowed in 2011.

The board also voted to allow Centerville Schools to move forward in the process of applying for a grant to help build a safe room. According to Busch, the room has to be something that can be used as a shelter, but schools have used the grants to help with building such things as gyms, auditoriums or weight rooms. The board approved adopting the Appanoose County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan as the first step in the process.

The board approved the budget guarantee resolution, which allows the district to levy for the shortfall of funds due to declining enrollment.

The board approved athletic sharing agreements with Moulton-Udell and Ottumwa. The district will share boys and girls soccer, tennis, track, cross country and golf with Moulton-Udell and swimming with Ottumwa.

The district's five-year copy machine lease with Xerox was up and the board approved a new lease. They also approved a new anti-virus contract for the district with Providence Capital Network. The district will receive anti-virus protection as well as an internet filter for four years for a cost of $18,070.39.

The board had their first reading of the policy primer for Debt Compliance Regulations from the Iowa Association of School Boards. They also okayed the final payment for the door and window replacement project. The final payment of $15,343.50 was made to Zephyr Aluminum Products.

The board's annual membership in the Appanoose Economic Development Corporation was renewed for $250. The board then heard more about the administrative team's instructional rounds to classrooms before approving sport's officials contracts and hearing reports from the administrative team and approving financial reports. 

Text Only
Local News
  • 042114 Family 25 years as business owners Today marks the 25 year anniversary of husband and wife Jerry and Cathy Whisler, of Centerville, becoming self-employed. Jerry called it kind of a fluke as he and Cathy became owners of a business they knew nothing about. That was in April of 1989 an

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 042114 Land Resident wants to purchase street? The Centerville City Council tonight at City Hall will listen to Jay Rogers talk about West Jackson Street between North Fifth Street and West Maple Street. Rogers is on the council's agenda for the 5:30 p.m. meeting because he wants the "city to aba

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041814 Miller-Meeks Photo Miller-Meeks campaigns Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, candidate for congressional Iowa District 2, promised the 10 who came to The Garage in Centerville Wednesday she would do "the full Grassley" if elected. "The full Grassley," Miller-Meeks said, is what Iowa Sen. Chuck Gr

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • A.C. history by Enfys McMurry April 18, 1942: There was a raid in the Pacific on April 18 that was morale boosting for Americans. It was four months and 10 days after Pearl Harbor. Eighty crewmen in 16 B-25s, led by Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle, took off from an aircraft carrier, the

    April 18, 2014

  • New boilers cost district $380,000 The summer boiler replacement projects will be getting underway after the Centerville School Board approved a $380,801 bid from Capital City Boiler and Machine Works out of Des Moines during their April 14 meeting. Six bids were received and the boar

    April 18, 2014

  • Appanoose County History April 18, 1865: Lincoln had been shot on the evening of Friday, April 14. 1865. He died at 7:22 the next morning. The news didn't reach Centerville until the 18th. It arrived on the front pages of the Keokuk Daily Gate City and the Burlington Hawkeye

    April 18, 2014

  • A.C. history by Enfys McMurry April 17, 1925: Nellie Walker was born in Red Oak but from infancy on, Moulton was her hometown. Her father was Moulton's stone carver and monument maker. Nellie watched him work and occasionally used his tools. At 17 she made a bust of Abraham Linco

    April 17, 2014

  • 041714 Blue Out Day Photo 2 Blue Out Day in Centerville The third annual Blue Out Day in Centerville Wednesday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. was a windy, chilly two-hour event to bring child abuse prevention awareness to the community. Activities included Centerville Mayor Jan Spurgeon reading the child abuse aware

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • A.C. history by Enfys McMurry April 16, 1861: By this date the news that President Lincoln wanted volunteers to fight for the preservation of the Union was the talk of Appanoose County. Centerville's reaction to the national crisis was immediate. Flags were placed at the old log-

    April 16, 2014

  • Informational meetings Organizing for Main Street is pressing on after their Jan. 16 presentation to Main Street Iowa officials who denied their application to be a part of the Main Street Iowa program. Last Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, April 8-10, for one hour each da

    April 16, 2014

  • Spawning fish for better fishing The annual spring fish netting is underway at Rathbun Lake, Spirit Lake and Guttenberg and will begin Tuesday night at Storm Lake, as the spawning season picks up steam. Staff from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources collects walleye, northern p

    April 16, 2014

  • 'Teach Children To Save' in Appanoose County Iowa Trust and Savings Bank partnered with local schools to celebrate Teach Children To Save Day with savings education on April 10 and 11. More than 185 local youths explored lessons designed to educate students on the value of saving money. Establ

    April 16, 2014

  • Supervisors dealing with vacancy

    Iowa Code states if there is a vacancy in an elected county office then there are two ways to fill the vacancy, one being that county’s board of supervisors can make an appointment, the other by special election.

    April 16, 2014 1 Story

  • Local Easter egg hunts The annual Moravia Easter egg hunt is at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 19 at City Park. The Faith United Methodist Church Easter egg hunt is at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 19 at the church on Highway 5 south. For all children in pre-k through sixth grade. If i

    April 16, 2014

  • Prison for Centerville man John Frank Thomasson, 30, of Centerville, was sentenced March 28 in the Appanoose County Courthouse to a total of six years in state prison. Thomasson was charged by Appanoose County Attorney Richard F. Scott by trial information on Oct. 29, 2013 wit

    April 15, 2014

Featured Ads

The Iowegian wants readers to think about rental permit fees. The Centerville City Council has conducted two working sessions and a third one is planned in order to get a feel for the public's appetite about raising rental permit fees from charging a landlord $25 every two years to charging a certain amount per rental unit per year. So, the question of the week is, "Are you in favor of Centerville increasing rental permit fees?"

A. I'm in favor.
B. I'm not in favor.
C. I'm not sure.
     View Results
Iowegian on Facebook