South Bend School Board still mulling cuts

The South Bend Community School Corporation board is still trying to figure out how to eliminate a more than $10 million budget shortfall it faces over the next two years.

They made no decisions at Monday’s meeting to help with the corporation’s money matters, but Superintendent Carole Schmidt says the board should vote on proposals by May.

At an earlier board meeting, Schmidt presented a list of possible reductions, which included reducing general education staff, kindergarten and explorer aides, administrators and support staff.

“One of the pieces that will play into those staffing decisions are the number of people submitting retirement,” she said.

The corporation has already saved some money through attrition, but Schmidt says they will replace some teachers who retire so classrooms don’t become overcrowded.

The board voted down several proposals in the past year that would have eliminated and reduced some aide positions, saying they were too close to the classroom.

But Schmidt says after going through strategic planning sessions and doing more research, everything’s back on the table.

“The problem with trying to stay away from the classroom is they have been making cuts in this corporation for the last four to five years,” said Schmidt. “And you can’t go on staying away from the classroom when 94 percent of your general fund budget is people.”

The board also terminated Frank Macri at Monday’s board meeting. He’d been serving as the Assistant Director of Facilities Management and had been with the corporation since 1988.

Schmidt says she couldn’t comment on his termination because it is a personnel issue.

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