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Pettisville School Board Eyes Enrollment Figures



The Pettisville School Board learned that enrollment is down a significant amount at its Monday, Sept. 13 meeting.

The decline is due to a drop in residential and open enrollment students.

Last year’s graduating class had 56 students, one of the largest in school history. The incoming kindergarten class has 32.

In addition, the district has about 25 fewer open enrollment students, at 157. Last year, there were 182.

For the current year funding, the drop translates into a loss of $142,000 in open enrollment funds. The residential enrollment could affect next year’s state funding.

Education For Jobs

The district received some additional funds this year that will help offset the loss of revenue due to enrollment.

Pettisville was notified the district will receive $152,516 from the Education Jobs Fund Program.

Additionally, the district was awarded $100,000 over four years under the federal Race to the Top program. The RTTT funds have requirements associated with the grant, but will still mean additional dollars for the district.

In other business, the board approved a motion to request a waiver of a requirement that Ohio school districts screen students for body mass index and weight status categories.

The law requires Ohio districts to screen students in kindergarten, third, fifth and ninth grades and determine their BMI. They are then to report the information. The program is part of the state’s Healthy Choices for Healthy Children Act.

The district would be required to weigh students, calculate each student’s BMI, and send home letters to families stating whether the child is underweight, normal, overweight, or obese.

Some school districts have objected to adding this requirement on the grounds that it has little to do with education. Representatives of those districts say medical personnel should conduct the BMI testing.

Limited Increase

Steve Switzer, district superintendent, said the district will have a very limited increase in teacher salary and benefits for the fiscal year 2011.

Earlier this year, the Pettisville Teachers Association agreed to a freeze in base pay. They will continue to receive step increases for years of service or additional education.

Switzer said that in the previous eight years, the same category increased $71,600 per year, but the projected increase for 2011 would be $1,500.

The category includes base and extended time salaries and retirement costs, but does not include insurance and the cost of substitute teachers.

The board also approved moving two faculty members up on the salary schedule due to additional education. Luann Bacon and Paul Bishop both advanced from Masters to Masters plus 15 hours.

All board members were present for the meeting, and all votes were unanimous.

The next board meeting is Monday, Oct. 11, 7 p.m. in the school library.–D.J. Neuenschwander



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