Community Schools of Frankfort
Posted in the Frankfort Forum
#1 May 15, 2013
parents and tax payers should not take this lightly!! This is just the beginning of what is starting to be discovered.
Accounting issues, testing drops, layoffs for Frankfort Schools
Updated: Wednesday, 15 May 2013, 10:14 AM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 14 May 2013, 11:32 PM EDT
FRANKFORT, Ind.(WLFI)- The bad news was in abundance for the Community Schools of Frankfort, between accounting errors totaling more than $1 million, a big drop in test scores, the elimination of teacher jobs and a principal under investigation.
The school board approved an appropriation increase of more than $2.2 million Tuesday night. Superintendent Don DeWeese estimates most of it,$1.5 million, comes from accounting errors, for example using the wrong funding sources to pay bills. Also, he says estimates for health care and utility costs were missed by hundreds of thousands of dollars.
To cover the shortfall,$340,000 is needed. That number includes $79,000 needed to buy out the contract of previous superintendent Les Bivens.
"As superintendent I have to take responsibility for those things. There's nothing illegal. There's no money missing, We just made some mistakes," DeWeese says. "I'm the one that's responsible for it and I'm the one right now that, we're going to make it right."
As part of an effort to cut $1.2 million over the next 18 months and balance the budget going forward, Frankfort schools is riffing four classroom aides. Plus, it is not filling three teaching and two administrative jobs this summer.
The Board also learned Tuesday that more than one in three third graders did not pass the IREAD-3 exam this year. The pass rate dropped more than 15 percent, from 64.1 percent in 2013, from 79.1 percent in 2012.
DeWeese says he will be looking at making sure schools have the best second and third grade instructors in place, as well as helping students be more prepared for taking standardized tests online.
"We're unsure of exactly what happened. We find it unacceptable also," says DeWeese. "We have had 3-4 years of good success and sometimes it goes down one time, you don't abandon ship yet. We still have some good things in place."
The Board also approved a move to put Frankfort Middle School Principal Mike Ettenberger on paid administrative leave, retroactive to April 23. Few details are available but DeWeese says an employment investigation is ongoing.
#2 May 16, 2013
I'm just wondering, if this Ettenberger guy is under an employment investigation, why are the taxpayers responsible for his salary. I understand the concept of being innocent until proven guilty but if there has been deemed a reason for this guy to be investigated, he should be suspended without pay pending the outcome of the investigation. if he is indeed innocent then he is entitled to the back pay plus a little extra for the inconvenience. If he is found guilty then he is punished appropriately. It will be hard to get the taxpayers money back now if he is found guilty. Further more this guy works for the taxpayers, the reason for this investigation should be made public in order to quell the rampant and mainly false rumors that are alive and well. Why the secrecy?
#3 May 16, 2013
Any employer, in this case the schools, cannot comment on a personnel issue. It is highly illegal. School principals are on a contract. So unless they have a reason for firing the guy, they have to put him on paid leave until they have a reason to break the contract or bring him back.
#4 May 16, 2013
Misplaced 1.5 million and cutting the budget 1.2 million. WHY? Was the tennis courts that important? Give a teacher 30 kids and no help, no wonder the kids failed.
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