You Spoke, We Listened
The school board has been evaluating data and options for well over a year to determine the best course of action. Community members were part of the decision making process through a community opinion survey, a Financial Advisory Committee and a series of community meetings.
Detailed process to arrive at a proposed solution
In 2018, BCSC administrators and the Board of Education began delving into cautionary signs on corporation finances, the details of which are explained under the “Why Now” tab on this site. BCSC retained the services of experts in financial planning, legal advice and communications to help better understand options and ensure the community was involved in the decision making process.
In June 2019, BCSC conducted a phone survey that briefly explained the financial situation to participants and, in addition, gauged their opinions about various aspects of the school corporation’s management and performance and about a variety of possible solutions to current financial problems.
In November, BCSC convened a 14-member Financial Advisory Committee (FAC). The group met three times during November and December, 2019, and received presentations from Superintendent Gregg Hoover, Director of Finance Tracy Albertson, and consultants. FAC members then engaged in group discussions, asking questions and presenting feedback and opinions.
In January, BCSC hosted four community information meetings, one at each of the corporation’s four schools. These sessions were well attended, drawing about 400 participants in total. Mr. Hoover and Ms. Albertson gave presentations, followed by discussions and feedback for school administrators and board members who attended.
In February, the school board conducted a workshop to consider and weigh all relevant factors and the community opinions and feedback solicited during the previous months. On February 10, board members voted to place a referendum question on the May 5, 2020, ballot. On March 19, 2020, Governor Holcomb changed the date of the May 5 election to June 2, 2020.
Much more information on the process is detailed on the Benton Community School Corporation website. Information includes survey results, Financial Advisory Committee member names, FAC agendas and notes, presentations, community meeting information and a final report as presented to the school board.
88% agree that school investments are a requirement for a vital community
66% support a tax increase of $100/year
70% gave BCSC an A or B letter grade