BRIAN PETERSEN: Meetings to consider realignment options
October 06, 2013 2:00 AM

David Anderson’s recent letter asking many questions to justify the Indiana Area school board’s pending vote on academic building reorganization has many excellent points. The administration and the board have evaluated many of these questions over the past several months. Realignment information is available on the district’s website at

http://www.iasd.cc/Page/1644.

Over the next several weeks public board discussion will continue on this subject, specifically on Monday and on Oct. 14, with a scheduled final vote on Monday, Oct. 28.

One of the major driving forces behind our decisions is money.

Taxes are the source of revenue. Boards are responsible to make expenditures equal revenue. No excuses, it’s the law.

School board authority to increase property taxes is limited by Act 1 of 2006. Under this act most districts across the state are facing similar budget issues with just one expenditure line item and are probably being forced to develop plans to cut programs.

Currently we are not adequately staffing our elementary schools. We know that Response to Instruction and Intervention (RTII) works, but we do not have the revenue to fully staff and implement it. New enrichment opportunities the district wants to provide cannot be put in place.

The administration and the school board have developed several options for elementary realignment that will best serve the students’ academic achievement goals. These realignment options give us lower class sizes in the elementary schools, fully staff our RTII program and will provide cost savings in our budget.

Everyone in the public should attend all three public meetings to gain a complete and comprehensive understanding of the proposed school realignment options and participate in the discussions.

The onus for future quality education is in the hands of the commonwealth leadership and the General Assembly to provide legislation and funding that actually assists school boards to deliver top quality education to students.

Brian Petersen

chair of the Academic Committee,

Indiana Area school board

• EDITOR’S NOTE: In the interest of full disclosure, Brian Petersen is the son of editorial page editor Mike Petersen.

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