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Tuesday night the NE Dubious School Board held their regular monthly meeting. Members from the public had showed to ask the board as to why the board was appointed and not elected. The public then asked for the board members opinions on the subject. The public member in attendance cited that in the state of Indiana there are about only 10 appointed boards with the rest being elected.

According to the Executive Director of the Indiana School Board Association Dr. Brian F. Smith there are a total  of 289 school boards in the state of Indiana with 277 of those elected and 12 appointed with one hybrid where 3 members are elected and 2 are appointed.

The history of the NE Dubois School Board is that in the 1970’s the school went to an appointed board after consolidation and in 1993 on the ballot was a vote to elect board members which failed to be passed.

Kelly Knies expressed that he is confident that the appointed members are adequate at their perspective positions. He then stated that the public can express their concern about an appointed board member to a trustee who can decide the next course of action.

The public also voiced the option of a “locale option income tax” to be administered in the county asking the board to reach out to school superintendents to discuss the tax option.

Superintendent Bill Hochesang announced that there will be a committee formed to check into the housing situation with in the school corporation, stating that families who would like to live in the area face a difficult task finding housing.

On the agenda was the school calendar for the 2017/2018 school year. The calendar was decided on between the four school corporations who came together for a county wide agreement. Forest Park and Greater Jasper have already approved the schedule with South West tabling it at their last meeting and plan to approve it in their January meeting. The Schools in Dubois will begin August 10th and dismiss on May 24th.

A motion to move money from the Bus Transportation fund to the Rainy day fund was approved in the amount of 50,000 dollars. The board stated that by regulations in Indiana all funds must be in the black at year end and moving the money is a common yearly practice.

The Performance Grant money has been allocated to the teachers in Indiana with the exception of the teachers that were hired with in the last year.

The Performance Grant award is money that is appropriated each year by the Indiana General Assembly for the purpose of giving bonuses to teachers that rate as effective or highly effective. Their effectiveness is based on ISTEP test in Grades 3-8 & 10 in Math,Science and Social Studies

Northeast Dubois Rated 46 out of 283 schools who received money with an average $ 1,098.72 per teacher. The grant is distributed in a single payment and the bonuses can either be given as cash stipends or as an increase to base salary.

Bill Hochsang discussed some issues with the referendum and explained that because the deadline for the budget to be submitted was before the election and it was not sure if the referendum would pass, the referendum was not included in the submitted budget.  He had to re-submit budget allocations of money for the school corporation since the referendum passed.

This instance enabled the school to receive referendum money for the 2016/2017 school year. The initial situation of thought was the money would not be received until the 2017/2018 school year. With receiving the money for the current school year the tax increase will be seen on 2016 taxes payable in 2017. Since the referendum amount was not considered in the original budget because of it’s uncertainty of being approved during the election. And with the resubmitted allocations there will be a loss of 20,000 to 30,000 dollars of the $514,000.00 budgeted.

With receiving the referendum money this school year it was stated by the board that it will alleviate the general fund to stay in the black.

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