05/31/11 When state funding for school corporations was cut drastically last year, Union-North United School Corporation Superintendent, Dr. Terry Barker, had to make some hard decisions to uphold his pledge to get the corporation’s budget back into the “black”. One of the most controversial decisions was to reduce the kindergarten program to half-days rather than keep the full-day classes.
During the school board meeting on Thursday night, Dr. Barker asked the board to approve reinstating the full-time program for the 2011-2012 school year. Barker informed the board members that by participating in a state ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) grant; they will receive an additional $1,040 per student that will enable them to fund the expanded program.
During the kindergarten round-up held a few weeks ago, 65 or so prospective students were signed up for LaVille Elementary for the next school year. LaVille Principal., John Farthing, said they were running over 100 kindergarten students in previous years, but last year the number dropped to 75.
Barker indicated that they would not be considering adding a teacher or looking at other options until the enrollment reaches 86 students. Administers will not know exactly how many enrollees they will have until registration on August 2. Farthing said anyone wanting information or to indicate their intention to have a kindergarten student at the elementary next year, should call the school office.
Barker said, “We are going to open the floodgates and hope families will return.” The board agreed with the decision and voted unanimously for the reinstatement.
Last school year, 36 students corporation-wide left for other school corporations.
Carol Anders Correspondent