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State funding still a concern for Antwerp schools
Friday, March 22, 2013 5:04 PM


By JOE SHOUSE • Correspondent

ANTWERP – The Antwerp School Board met in regular session on Tuesday, March 19. Financial concerns, staff reports, and three resignations were received during their session. The consent to forward a resolution to the Ohio General Assembly and to Governor John Kasich rejecting the passing of House Bill 59 was also given.

Superintendent Pat Ross spent several minutes sharing what the potential outcome will be with the passing of House Bill 59. Currently the state funding received is $3,076,372 which is approximately $5,000 per student. The Antwerp enrollment is 611 students. The new proposal under HB 59 would decrease the amount to $3,051.282.

“The new proposal would be 3 percent less per student and would force us to operate on the amounts we received in 2009,” said Ross.

The board approved a resolution spelling out their objection of providing private or parochial school tuition vouchers based on family income or class work performance that leads to a below-average grade. The resolution expresses opposition to any legislation that seeks to transfer public dollars to support private education.

In her report, Ross also shared information about the upcoming waiver day and future bus routes. Waiver day will be held on Wednesday, March 27 and will focus on school safety and training for lockdown situations. The training will include school staff as well as local, county and state police officials.

Preliminary bus routes for the 2013-14 school year are being laid out and considered.

“At this point we are simply laying out the potential routes in order to come up with the best plan for the coming school year,” said Ross.

One final item was  the change of meeting time for June. It was agreed to move the June school board meeting to Thursday, June 27.

The board approved the resignations of district technology director Cathy Barnett, Hal Kemerer, and head basketball coach Scott McMichael. Barnett spent 20 years in the Antwerp school system while Kemerer gave 31 years of service. McMichael resigns after 13 successful years at the helm.

Middle/high school principal Michael Bute shared with the board several items of interest, including:

The addition of one additional AP class, giving Antwerp a total of six.

The middle school is one of 161 schools in the state to receive the School of Promise recognition. The special award is given to schools that are achieving at all levels with students.

Spring break will be March 28-April 1.

Senior trip is scheduled for March 27-29.

Forty-one units of blood were donated at the recent Red Cross blood draw.

Travis Lichty, Antwerp Elementary principal, shared the following:

Grades one and two have completed Iowa Assessment testing using both the traditional paper and pencil format as well as online testing.

Kindergarten registration and screening was held on March 25-26 with 43 registered.

Preschool enrollment will begin in April.

Kentucky Shakespeare will be at the school on April 4 to present a modern version of Shakespeare to the students.

Treasurer Kristine Stuart gave a overall review. The financial summary showed receipts in the amount of $943,013.88 with expenses totaling $515,592.22. All financial reports were accepted.

The Vantage board report was given by board member Dennis Recker. The all-boards meeting is scheduled for April 4.

The board gave consent to the following items:

Approved the eighth grade trip to Washington, D.C. from April 8-13.

Approved Rose Reinhart as assistant musical director.

Michael Knight was approved as a substitute bus drive retroactive to March 4.

Approved the Class of 2013 students for graduating, pending they meet all local and state graduation requirements.