School system proposes to shut down elementary school

By Marisela Burgos - bio | email

MADISON, IN (WAVE) - The New Albany-Floyd County School corporation isn't the only district facing major cuts. The NAFC School Board was set to vote Thursday on whether to close Galena Elementary, Pine View Elementary, Silver Street Elementary, and Children's Academy of New Albany.

Schools across the Hoosier state are trying to cope with budget cuts and WAVE 3 has learned another school system has proposed to close down an elementary school. Madison Consolidated Schools Superintendent Dr. Tom Patterson said his proposal includes closing Canaan Elementary School in Jefferson County, Indiana.

When Gov. Mitch Daniels ordered school districts to make cuts to their budgets, many did not know where to begin. Dr. Patterson said it was a tough task to find $900,000 in cuts, which he said is the minimum.

"It's a tough nut to crack," Patterson said. "The reason I believe this is the best option is because we need to do something permanent. We need to do something that'll last time after time."

It's estimated this will save this school system half a million dollars.

"The trouble is there is just not as many kids to support it," Patterson said.

Patterson says some parents have voiced concerns over the closure but he believes many realize it's necessary.

"I think people understand these are though financial times, something needs to be done," Patterson said.

Other Indiana school systems are making cuts by: not filling vacant positions, giving teachers incentives to retire, minimizing insurance benefits, making changes to programs, and laying off some workers.

Most school districts are also looking at using rainy day funds, as well.

"The trouble is, there is no clear cut yes or no answer to any of this just gray areas," Patterson said.

The school board will vote on the proposal March 17th. Other cuts include eliminating positions or some work months for custodial staff.

WAVE 3 contacted several school systems to find out how they are dealing with the budget cuts. Here is a list of the proposed budget cuts by school systems that got back to us.

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