The Clarksville Community Schools administration and Board of Education would like to welcome everyone for the 2018-2019 school year.
As I begin my first full year as shared superintendent between Clarksville and North Butler, there have been some changes. We will welcome some new faces to the Clarksville Schools this fall, including PK-12 Principal Keith Reuter (pronounced writer). Mr. Reuter joins us after previously holding the Middle School Dean of Students position in Charles City. I look forward to the things that Mr. Reuter will bring to the staff, students and community of Clarksville.
We are also making some upgrades to the facilities. This includes making some updates to flooring in the locker rooms, gym lobby and restrooms. We are also looking into building a new crows nest/ concessions/ restroom area for the baseball and football fields which will include a significant upgrade over the current facility.
Clarksville Schools has also started an official CVSD twitter page (@CCSDIndians) and will be opening a District Wide Facebook account for the first time in the very near future. It is our goal to do the best that we can to ensure that we are communicating in the most effective ways possible to reach as many of our patrons as we can, in the most timely manner.
Please know that Mr. Saathoff, Mr. Reuter, and I would be more than happy to answer any questions that you may have to the best of our abilities and that I am more than happy to sit down and listen to concerns that anyone may have in regards to the school. Remember that I am in Clarksville two days a week so it is always best to check with someone beforehand to ensure that I am in the district.
Iowa school finance can be
relatively complicated. There are several different funds, most of which can
only be used for certain things.
For instance, we have the Physical
Plant and Equipment levy (PPEL). This fund is used for building infrastructure,
maintaining and improving our buildings and grounds, purchase or lease of
equipment such as busses, and technology purchases when the unit is over $500
We also receive funds from the
Statewide Schools Infrastructure Sales and Services tax. This is a one-cent
sales tax on purchases that comes back to the schools and we are able to use
these funds in the same way as the PPEL.
Clarksville Community Schools is
doing well in this area. We have enough money in the PPEL and One-cent funds
that will allow us to maintain our buildings, and we will continue to upgrade
the buildings, grounds and other areas of the district as necessary.
The general fund is the area that
Clarksville is facing possible issues. The general fund is the area that most
of our operating costs come from. Things like utilities, fuel, bus repairs, and
the biggest portion is the salary of all employees. Salaries and benefits take
up approximately 75% of the general fund. At the end of fiscal year 18 (the
current year), the district has a projected unspent balance (school finance
term-like your credit card limit) of $530,000. At the end of fiscal year 19,
which ends June 30, 2019, we had projected an unspent balance of about
$280,000. There are several causes for this, with the largest being declining
student enrollment numbers over the past several years.
As a point of importance, it is
against the law for a school district to overspend its budget. When a school
district overspends its Maximum Authorized Budget, which is basically set by
the state, it must then build a corrective action plan and go before the School
Budget Review Committee (SBRC). According to Iowa Code 257.31, subsection 18,
If a school district exceeds its
authorized budget or carries a negative unspent balance for two or more
consecutive years, the committee may recommend that the department implement a
phase II on-site visit to conduct a fiscal review pursuant to section 256.11,
subsection 10, paragraph “b”, subparagraph (1), subparagraph division (e).
During a Phase II site visit, if the
site visit committee deems that a district is not viable, the state board of
education has the right to close that district for nothing other than financial
reasons. As this is the case, it is important that we create a cushion in the
unspent balance of roughly 10-15%.A district the size of Clarksville should
have an unspent balance of roughly $450,000 to $650,000. The board has set this
as a priority.
On Wednesday April 4, 2018, the
board met in special session and decided that it was not acceptable for The
Clarksville district to end the year with a drop in the unspent balance to the
projected levels. As that is the case, the board decided that it was in the
best interest of the district to make some adjustments to staffing levels, as
staff salaries are roughly 75% of our general fund budget.
Decisions that were made were to not
replace one elementary teacher who has resigned, not replace the vocal music
position so there will be one K-12 music position, and to reduce one JH/HS social
studies position.These changes make a
huge difference to the future of the Clarksville school district, allow us to
streamline and “right size” the staff, and still provide a quality education
for our students.
Please remember that this is not a
dire situation, but is a proactive approach to ensure that we can provide the
proper education to our students.
Please feel free to contact me, or stop
in and see me if you have any questions or thoughts on this or any other topic.