Zionsville Schools Add New Teachers, Buses

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Zionsville Community Schools says it has brought in a handful of new teachers to accommodate enrollment growth. The hires are in addition to 26 new educators last school year. The district has also approved spending more than $500,000 to purchase nine school buses.

August 13, 2013

News Release

Zionsville, Ind. -- At their monthly August meeting, the Zionsville School Board of Trustees approved the replacement of nine school buses at a cost nearly $175,000 less than budgeted.

Transportation Director Amy Eaton received appreciation from the board for keeping the fleet of buses current with the bus replacement plan and maximizing the safety and reliability of the fleet while safeguarding the funds available in the Bus Replacement Fund. The total cost of the nine buses purchased was $532,690. The district utilized the joint purchasing power of the Central Indiana Educational Services Center (CIESC). All of the buses being replaced are in their 14th or 15th year of service.

The beginning of the school year has also brought about various activities including the opening of Boone Meadow Elementary School, the addition of 7.25 new teachers to accommodate enrollment growth and the reassignment of existing teachers to improve class sizes. The total cost for new teachers is expected to be approximately $438,000. Although the district anticipates receiving a net increase of $481,000 in state tuition support, the amount received per pupil will decline for the sixth consecutive year.

This unprecedented decline in per pupil funding from the state means that the district continues to face funding challenges even greater than those addressed through the referendum funding.

Superintendent Scott Robison noted that even with the 26 additional teachers hired with the referendum funds last year, some elementary class sizes have continued to increase due to growing enrollment and the declining tuition support from the state.

"It's a matter of simple mathematics that if our enrollment is continuing to increase and the amount we receive per pupil continues to decline, our shortfall will continue to grow," said Robison. "The referendum funds are a tremendous help in restoring programs and keeping class sizes manageable, but they will not eliminate the inequities in the state funding formula."

During the meeting, the Board also took the initial steps to advertise the 2014 budget. The process for approving the school budget is quite lengthy, with a public hearing currently scheduled for October 14, 2013. Copies of the Notice to Taxpayers that will be published in the local newspapers may be found on the school website at www.zcs.k12.in.us. Additional information on the budget will be available on the website thirty days before the public hearing.

To comply with new state laws regarding bullying, the board held a first reading on changes to the policy. These changes include staff training regarding bullying, reporting of bullying, discipline policy and bullying prevention.

Minutes and podcasts of all board meetings are available on the school website. The next scheduled Board of Trustees meeting is Monday, September 9, 2013 at 6 p.m. at the Educational Services Center (900 Mulberry Street).

Source: Zionsville Community Schools