N.J.-S.P. Officials Elaborate on School Funding

BluejayThe North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation will have to borrow money in order to meet financial obligations over the next six months. Business manager Guy Richie says they managed to close the 2015 budget year in the black by continuing to scale back on expenses and relying heavily on their cash balance.

He notes their enrollment dropped by 61 at the September count, which cost the corporation another $600,000. Richie says in addition to borrowing money, N.J.-S.P. will have to take a hard look at staffing levels.

Superintendent Lynn Johnson says no official reductions in force have been made since the general fund referendum failed. However, she notes teachers and support staff who leave are not being replaced unless it is absolutely necessary. For instance, she says an aid who is assigned to a special education child will be replaced while a general aid likely would not.

School Board President Pat Goin says they’re currently evaluating staffing needs as opportunities to do so arise.

“Did we go through and say ‘you’ve lost your job?’ No we didn’t, but we certainly haven’t replaced particular positions. We’ve tried to consolidate our services and probably do a little bit of rescheduling to absorb the extra,” Goin said.

Tuesday’s meeting was Johnson’s last as superintendent. She’s retiring at the end of the month. The board hired Dr. Robert Boyd on an interim basis. He’s regarded as an expert in school finances. Richie says meetings between Boyd and other shareholders will be scheduled soon after the first of the year.