Fundraising categories to change under new law; principals, teachers work on new anonymous alert app


Choir students perform an excerpt of their musical, “Edges”, during a school board meeting. During the meeting, the board recognized several outstanding students, including National Merit Semifinalists, the “Edges” cast and students with exemplary community service.

Sam Shi

School board president Layla Spanenberg said the school board is in the process of approving a new state law, which consolidates school funding into two categories: “education” and “operation”. The school board president said the education fund will include anything classroom related, while the operation fund is everything else, such as administration or bus driving. There are currently six funding categories, including transportation, debt service and capital projects.

Spanenberg said the new funding will require school boards in Indiana to be more responsible with their funds, as it offers more flexibility to boards in allocating funds.

“When funding changed, originally, funding was changed to the specific (funding categories) because some (school) districts, not Carmel, were not utilizing funds appropriately,” Spanenberg said. “They had buses that were 30 years old because they put all their funds into other areas. We had funding changes to the funding for schools, and it went into the specific categories  (to fix the problem). What (the new law) does is it gives us more flexibility and latitude on how much we can keep in the education fund, but we have to be extremely responsible to be sure that are funds follow the need.”

Spanenberg also said the board will communicate with legislators to try to expand funding for public schools.

“The one (education fund) isn’t growing,” Spanenberg said. “In fact it’s getting smaller for traditional public schools because money is being siphoned off for vouchers which can go to private schools and charter schools. So that is a big concern of ours. We would like more money going to the overall (education fund).”

Quizbowl president Justin Yu said allocating the funds toward a new club like his would also help with limited funding.  “Many of the new and smaller clubs are the ones that are most in need of funding, thus by promoting some student interest clubs to being school sponsored during the school year, while limiting those spots to a specific number (of clubs), so that the administration could predict the necessary funding for these, would be the best option,” he said.

Spanenberg said principals around the Carmel Clay Schools district are currently discussing the new anonymous alerts app with teachers, including finding a name for the app.