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School district eyes events, students for revenue

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A central Indiana school district may hire an events coordinator to rent out a high school auditorium and is looking to steer students into programs that generate more state money in hopes of reducing the impact of any future budget cuts.

Franklin Community Schools officials say they don't want to be in the same situation they were last year, when the state forced the district to eliminate $3 million from its budget. The district cut six full-time and one part-time teaching positions, didn't replace seven other teachers who retired and eliminated two administrators. It also adjusted administrators' benefits to save about $62,000.

School officials say they don't want to have to make such drastic cuts again and are looking for ways to generate more revenue for the district about 15 miles south of Indianapolis.

One idea is to create a position of events coordinator, which would be a combination marketing assignment and teaching post, the Daily Journal reported. Superintendent David Clendening has asked the school board to hire an employee to attract music groups, plays, musicals and speakers to the high school auditorium. The coordinator also would teach students how to work the sound system, set up a stage and run microphones, Clendening said.

The district already rents the auditorium for events such as dance recitals, and the revenue it has generated has risen from about $22,000 a few years to about $90,000 now. Business director Jeff Mercer said he thinks the auditorium has the potential to generate $250,000 each year.

Mercer said revenue from the auditorium rental also would be used to replace light bulbs, update equipment and make repairs once it grows to about $150,000 a year.

The district also plans to move $200,000 from its food services fund, which has a nearly $800,000 surplus, to its general fund. The fund gets money from meal payments and state reimbursements for students who receive free and reduced-price lunches. It is used to pay for food, equipment and salaries of cafeteria workers.

Two other proposals include charging community groups more to use school buildings for youth sports and other activities, with money being used to pay for utilities and custodians, and bringing more students into programs that generate money.

The district could bring in more than $100,000 if 20 students who have dropped out or were expelled return to school through the high school's online program, Finish Strong. Those students count toward the district's enrollment and would each generate about $5,300 from the state.

Clendening is also looking for ways to help more teachers obtain state vocational teaching licenses for business and family and consumer sciences classes. Districts get up to $450 for each student who takes such a class from a teacher with a vocational license, and school officials estimate they could generate an additional $22,500.

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  1. These liberals are out of control. They want to drive our economy into the ground and double and triple our electric bills. Sierra Club, stay out of Indy!

  2. These activist liberal judges have gotten out of control. Thankfully we have a sensible supreme court that overturns their absurd rulings!

  3. Maybe they shouldn't be throwing money at the IRL or whatever they call it now. Probably should save that money for actual operations.

  4. For you central Indiana folks that don't know what a good pizza is, Aurelio's will take care of that. There are some good pizza places in central Indiana but nothing like this!!!

  5. I am troubled with this whole string of comments as I am not sure anyone pointed out that many of the "high paying" positions have been eliminated identified by asterisks as of fiscal year 2012. That indicates to me that the hospitals are making responsible yet difficult decisions and eliminating heavy paying positions. To make this more problematic, we have created a society of "entitlement" where individuals believe they should receive free services at no cost to them. I have yet to get a house repair done at no cost nor have I taken my car that is out of warranty for repair for free repair expecting the government to pay for it even though it is the second largest investment one makes in their life besides purchasing a home. Yet, we continue to hear verbal and aggressive abuse from the consumer who expects free services and have to reward them as a result of HCAHPS surveys which we have no influence over as it is 3rd party required by CMS. Peel the onion and get to the root of the problem...you will find that society has created the problem and our current political landscape and not the people who were fortunate to lead healthcare in the right direction before becoming distorted. As a side note, I had a friend sit in an ED in Canada for nearly two days prior to being evaluated and then finally...3 months later got a CT of the head. You pay for what you get...

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