Carmel Clay Schools campuses are closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the district plans to pay its regularly scheduled employees through the end of the school year whether or not students come back to the classroom during that time.
The school board unanimously approved a resolution to ensure it happens at its March 23 meeting, which was held in a nearly-empty room. School board President Michael Kerschner, CCS Supt. Michael Beresford and board executive secretary Colleen Nobis sat evenly spaced across the dais, while other school board members and administrators participated in the meeting by phone. Seats for the public, spaced at least six feet apart, remained unoccupied.
CCS campuses have been closed since March 16 to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, which can cause the COVID-19 disease. Gov. Eric Holcomb has ordered Indiana schools to remain closed through at least May 1.
Most CCS employees, including teachers, are funded through the state or local property taxes, which are not expected to be affected in the short-term. But jobs in food service or the Edu-Care program, which provides care for children of CCS employees younger than kindergarten, are funded by people who use the services. With campuses closed, funding for those positions has stopped.
Associate Supt. Roger McMichael calculated that $21,500 is spent per day to cover pay and benefits for food service and Edu-Care employees. The district plans to save $14,300 each day campuses are closed because of reduced printing, bus fuel, utility and other costs. CCS plans to make up the difference of $7,200 each day the schools are closed through its operations fund and possibly the rainy day fund, depending on how long the closure lasts.
“Certainly this situation is a rainy day,” McMichael said.
If schools are closed through the end of the academic year on May 28, CCS will have spent approximately $345,000 on pay and benefits for food service and Edu-Care employees.