NEW CARLISLE — The Tecumseh BOE has approved a lease for land to build a new baseball field at Park Layne Elementary School, and if all goes well the field could be ready for use in just a few months.
“They’re actually hoping to play ball on it this spring,” assistant superintendent Ivan Gehret told board members at their regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, Jan. 15. “The outfield will look pretty much like a field, but in the infield they’re going to take the sod out and put dirt in. And they’re going to put in home and away dugouts. They’re going to use chain-link fencing for that, so you can look through when you’re driving down 235, to possibly keep artwork and other activities from going on inside the dugout.”
“We’re kind of excited about that,” district treasurer Denise Robinson said. “Over Christmas break, they had taped off where the field will be, and they had a surveyor finding the best location for drainage.”
In other business, board members Corinne Scott, Sue Anne Martin, Johanna Brents, Peter Scarff and Suzanne Slagell were also presented with special certificates recognizing their service to the district, in honor of national board of education month. “January is board of education appreciation month, so we have certificates to present to each board member,” Robinson said. “Thank you for all you do. Thank you on behalf of the district, for all the time and dedication you give to our staff and our students.”
The board also heard a relatively positive monthly financial report. “Our revenues are a little bit higher in 2019 than our average over the past three years,” Robinson said. “Our expenditures, they’re actually a little lower than our three-year average.”
“We are up over $60,000 in interest earnings, just in the month of December,” she said. “I’m starting to move money around, and investing in things that earn a little more interest.”
Unfortunately, the district is also experiencing a strangely ironic problem with the additional funding it receives for economically disadvantaged students. “We just don’t have as many students qualifying as economically disadvantaged, because we have more people working,” Robinson said. “The economy is better, which is great, but that does effect our funding.”
“We had 1,789 students economically disadvantaged,” she said. “For December, We’re down to 1,442. As you can see, that’s over 300 students. That is a huge drop; it equates to about $300,000.”
“We’re still OK,” Robinson said, “but looking at this enrollment data that drives our foundation funding is extremely important.”
Board members also set the date for a work session March 13, to discuss the district’s options for several tax levies that will require action in 2019. Two previous emergency levies and a permanent improvement levy are due to be placed before voters in 2019, with a third emergency levy due for action in 2021.
“March 13 is our first work session, and we’re going to talk about levy information,” superintendent Paula Crew said. “We’re looking at options.”
Board members also set dates for their annual BOE tours, which will be held on Friday, Feb. 22 and Friday, March 1, and announced an upcoming joint board meeting to be held at 6:30 pm on Monday, January 28 at the Smith Park shelter house. The board’s next regularly scheduled meeting will be held at 6 pm on Tuesday, Feb. 26 in the Arrow Conference Room at Tecumseh High School.
Matt Clevenger is a freelance writer for New Carlisle Life. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 516-4861.