Some teachers at Crothersville Community Schools were able to keep their jobs after four others decided to retire this year.
In April, letters were sent to four junior-senior and elementary teachers notifying them that a possible reduction-in-force could occur due to the lack of state funding. The teachers chosen would have been those with the least seniority.
Superintendent Terry Goodin said, however, with the four teachers beginning their retirements this summer, the jobs that had been in limbo will remain.
“I think it’s obviously a relief on our part and the school board,” Goodin said. “We are fiscally solvent to move forward.”
A RIF letter is a notice that a teacher might not have a job for the following school year. It depends on the two-year budget approved for public education by lawmakers, and the funding formula is based on several factors, including enrollment, growth and the number of students from low-income families.
Though no RIFs will be given out, Goodin said during Monday’s school board meeting that cuts in funding have caused one music program to be canceled at the high school. Starting next school year, band no longer will be offered.
“Unfortunately, we are at the will of the General Assembly of the state of Indiana,” he told those attending the meeting. “One hundred percent of our general funding is from the state, and we’re only allowed to spend as much as they give us.”
Goodin, a Democrat from Austin, is a member of the Indiana General Assembly, serving House District 69.
He said that, after some review, the fine arts class was chosen to be cut because of the lack of participation by students. There were about five who signed up for the class this past school year, and it later dwindled to just three, he said.
“It was really small numbers, and we couldn’t justify maintaining that program at that level,” he said.
Band will continue to be offered at the middle school and elementary school levels because there are plans to hire a full-time choral and instrumental teacher for the school district. Joe Law, the previous band instructor, took another job, and Peggy Adams, a choir teacher, is one of the retirees.
Goodin said there are other opportunities to play at the high school level because students either can be bused to Austin High School and join a class there or can take an independent study class or play in a community college band.
He also said there is a possibility the class can be brought back if a large number of students in the future want to sign up.
“We’re trying to figure out ways and options for kids if they want to participate,” he said.