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Consolidation, teacher contracts and new family initiative just a few topics discussed at VCSC board meeting

With an agenda full of big topics, the VCSC met for two hours Monday evening. Here's some of the highlights discussed at the meeting.

Posted: Dec 9, 2019 10:38 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - It was a big night Monday for the Vigo County School Board.

Budget cuts and talk of teacher pay raises are just a few of the things leaders talked about. 

We've been following the board's actions on those topics closely over the last few months..

There was a presentation on the tentative agreement on teacher contracts with the Vigo County Teachers Association.

That would boost teachers' pay, primarily beginning teachers' salaries from $35,000 to $38,000.

The school board will not take action on the contracts until Friday.

The plan of consolidation was another big talker at the meeting.

You'll remember, part of a proposed plan for budget cuts includes consolidating elementary schools from 18 to 15.

Schools with less than 300 students are most likely to consolidate.

There are a lot of other factors, like building conditions, and location that also matter.

No official decision was made Monday night as far as consolidation.

It will be a long process involving administration, parents and the community, but that didn't stop some residents from speaking out.

"We're probably not going to have the option of keeping some of the schools open. There will be some that have to be consolidated. I just want the school corporation to take a look at the neighborhood schools and see which ones would best be served to stay open," said Leah Myers Vigo County resident.

"We're talking about decisions that will affect people, but we're also talking about decisions that we said we needed to do in terms of making our financial situation a better one," said Bill Riley.

The school corporation is looking to next year with a focus on family.

Monday night, the board announced a new initiative for 2020.

The corporation will partner with community groups, non-profit organizations and faith-based groups to provide family-friendly activities.

They will take place every Wednesday night.

The hope is families will spend that time together.

It's an initiative that's been in the works within the corporation for almost a year.

"The family is something we need to focus on in Vigo County. It's something we can do to help strengthen our community, and we're excited to get it off the ground next year," said Riley.

Riley said the corporation will work to limit Wednesday night school activities and sports to make this initiative possible.

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