Greater Clark County Schools proposes millions of dollars in budget cuts for 2021

According to the plan, Bridgepoint Elementary and Corden Porter would close and the students would be transferred to other schools in the district.

CLARK COUNTY, Ind. — Greater Clark County Schools (GCCS) may go through major budget cuts in 2021 to save money, according to a proposed plan released by the district.

According to a document on the district’s website, GCCS has been in “deficit spending” for several years and is running out of funds. 

“Due to the serious effects of prior decision making priorities and the uncertainly of adequate state funding resources for education, Greater Clark County Schools have been forced to comply to a cost reduction plan,” the presentation says.

The goal of the plan is to save the district an estimated $6 million.

The plan includes shutting down two schools – Bridgepoint Elementary and Corden Porter – to save nearly $1.3 million each year. The district said eliminating the schools would also help reallocate resources more proportionally among its schools.

Bridgepoint Elementary students would be moved to Franklin Square Elementary and Riverside Elementary, according to the plan. Middle and high school students at Corden Porter would be transferred to Jeffersonville HIgh School, River Valley Middle School or Parkview Middle School. 

The district said the change would eliminate several positions, including principals, teachers and custodians and that affected staff members would be “reassigned through attrition.”

The proposed plan also includes a new staffing formula for the Related Arts programs, changes to bus routes and adjustments to its facilities plans.

Parents and employees with GCCS spoke to The News and Tribune about the proposed changes. One parent said she felt there wasn’t enough time for parents to properly provide their input.

In a meeting Tuesday, Superintendent Mark Laughner briefly spoke to the GCC Board of Schools Trustees about the plan.

“I do not believe the state has been doing their part in terms of funding public education in Indiana,” Laughner said. “Also on our side of things, we have to do our part.”

Laughner said the proposed plan will be discussed in more detail on a meeting Jan. 14. Thursday’s meeting is a work session, so the plan won’t be voted on, but the district plans to ask the board for their approval in a session on Jan. 26.

If the plan is approved, the changes would start on July 1, 2021. The full plan is available to read on the Greater Clark County Schools website.

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