canceled classes Monday due to one of the snowiest February blizzards on
record, but the School Board defied the weather to meet and hear School
Superintendent Dave Pruis tell how Duneland fares in the latest state
State base support
for public schools in 2015 is $4,587 per student in the Average Daily
Membership count taken in September and February. Factored into the final
amount is “the complexity index” which calculates additional dollars
determined on the proportion of low-income students a school district has.
ADM support is $5,210.83 for the 2015 Fiscal Year, a .19 percent increase
from 2014. It falls between other corporations in Porter County. Portage
Schools have the highest ADM support with $5,825 per student and East Porter
County Schools the lowest with $5,043 per student.
With the exception
of Portage Schools, all county school districts fall below the Indiana
average ADM student support of $5,770 for 2015.
which Pruis said was researched and supplied by the business administrator
at Lake Central Schools, shows that the average total funding for
conventional public schools was $5,736 per student while Charter Schools on
average got $6,567.
“You can draw your
own conclusions from that,” said Pruis, who has often spoken out on the
disparity in state support between school districts and charters.
Of the top 20
schools that receive state funding, 18 of them are charters. That list does
not include the nearby Discovery Charter School, which typically receives
about the same ADM funding as Duneland.
The only two public
school districts in the top 20 were Schools of East Chicago and the Gary
Community School Corporation.
Pruis said what has
largely impacted schools negatively over the past five years is the Indiana
Legislature’s decision to cut public education funding by $300 million in
2010. “It’s never come back,” he said.
President Ralph Ayres said the time will soon arrive when state legislators
will configure the school funding formula in the new two-year budget. There
are about three weeks left for bills to be heard, he said.
forums will be taking place over the next couple weeks, Ayres said, with the
ISTA Dunes Shore District Council breakfast at Michigan City High School set
for this Saturday at 8:30 a.m.
The Porter County
Retired Teachers Association will be hosting a forum for Porter County
legislators on Saturday, Feb. 21 at 9 a.m. in the Portage High School
cancellation will be made up on Friday, April 24, Pruis said. The schools
already need to make up two days from January’s extreme cold temperature
cancellations and will be in session on Friday, Feb. 13 and Monday, Feb. 16.
The surge of snow
days this year and last seemed to perplex Pruis, who said he remembers in
his first years at Duneland, “we didn’t have as much as a delay. That’s
board passed a favorable motion to set the 2015-16 school calendar. All
dates and breaks will correspond with the current school year. The first day
for students will be Aug. 19.
In other comments,
Pruis said Duneland will observe this week as National School Guidance
Also, Getz wanted
to share that Indiana Superintendent of Public Schools Glenda Ritz has a
video on the Indiana Department of Education’s website that helps parents
engage with their children as they hear questions that will be like the ones
on the new ISTEP tests this year.
He said to look for
the light-bulb shaped button on the webpage to see the video and the
“All they have to
do is follow along. It will be beneficial to our students, so be sure to
take a look,” he said.
The tests have been
designed to be focused more towards college and career readiness, Getz said.
Duneland are already working the new approach into their curriculum, Getz
In other news,
Duneland Safety and Security Director Steve Rohe said the school corporation
has received a $50,000 Secured School Safety Grant from the Indiana
Department of Homeland Security.
The funds will be
used to help install card readers and cameras at the two intermediate
schools and Brummitt Elementary.
Rohe said he will
continue to pursue more grants like this in the future.
The snow kept away
representatives from Bailly Elementary as well as the Boys and Girls Club
Duneland Unit which were scheduled on the agenda. Pruis said they will
present at the board’s next meeting on March 2.