A decision by the Indiana General Assembly to do away with public school course fees – including book rental – has school districts worried about what will replace the fees in their budgets.

While agreeing that the elimination of fees will be good for families with students, Emily Schaeffer says she and other public school superintendents don’t know how the revenue loss will impact schools.

“It’s a big question mark for us,” Schaeffer said.

The state legislature has said it will replace the money in the future. Many superintendents expect that only some of the lost funding will be returned to the schools.

“It’s probably not going to be ‘you tell us how much you spent (on books) and we’ll replace it,’” Schaeffer said.

She had not calculated the financial impact on Nettle Creek School Corp.

At its July 12 meeting, the Nettle Creek school board carved out an exception to the no fees rule. Students in the Lifesaving class at Hagerstown Jr.-Sr. High School will pay $40 if they wish to become certified.

Schaeffer told the board that the local Education Fund will now cover the cost of textbooks, curricular materials and other fees associated with courses. The only fees that can be assessed are for certifications.

Schaeffer informed the board that students at both Nettle Creek school buildings will receive a free breakfast on school days. Previously, only Hagerstown Elementary students got a no-cost breakfast. She lauded Kelli Bush, the site coordinator for Chartwells food service, for spearheading the program.

Additionally, the board approved a 10-cent increase in paid lunch prices due to increased labor and supply costs. Lunch will cost $3.10 at HES and $3.20 at HJSHS. It’s the second straight year for a dime increase.

Schaeffer also updated the board on the Discovery Preschool expansion. A new 3-year-old section for up to 15 children is full, with one child on a waiting list. As of the board meeting, the 4-year-old section for 45 children still had nine vacancies. During an Aug. 1 open house, parents may complete applications for tuition assistance.

The board’s next regular meeting is at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 9, in the Hagerstown Elementary School LGI room, 299 N. Sycamore St. The public may attend.

The board approved personnel changes, including athletic positions, as listed.

Certified staff: Phillip Renforth, HJSHS econ/business teacher; Makayla Cranfill, choral teacher.

Non-certified staff: Allie Hayes, Angie Morgan, Jordan Jesse and Amanda Jesse, preschool/daycare assistants.

Athletics co-curricular activities, fall sports: Kent Gray, cross country head coach; Jason Schmittler, cross country junior high coach; Scott Snodgrass, football head coach; Brandon Lester and Ryan Pass, football assistants; Jeb Clifton, football JV and freshmen; Caleb Blaase, football assistant JV and freshman; Thomas Gross and Alan Kutche, junior high football coaches; Chris Robertson, boys tennis coach; Steve Abshire, girls golf coach; Brian Dale, volleyball coach; Ashley Vinson and Laynie Russell, JV volleyball coaches; Hannah Rogers, 8th grade volleyball coach; Julie Browman, 7th grade volleyball coaches; Betsy Swimm, elementary volleyball; Glen Meek, fall high school and junior high school athletic supervision.

Cheerleading (fall and winter): Kayla Vinson, varsity and junior varsity; Chloe Beaty and Erica Glunt, freshman; Marissa Favorite, junior high.

Winter sports: Mark Doerstler, head boys basketball coach; Jason Ervin, boys basketball assistant and JV; Kelly Bicknell, boys freshman basketball; Josh Troutwine, 7th grade boys basketball; Matt Hileman, 8th grade boys basketball; Chris Oliger, head girls basketball coach; Brad Catey, JV girls basketball coach; Bruce Charles, girls basketball varsity assistant; Chad Romack, girls basketball junior high; Evan Lanum, 5th grade boys basketball traveling team; John Benson, 6th grade boys basketball traveling team; Tori Kelley, 5th grade girls basketball traveling team; Courtney Dierks, 6th grade girls basketball traveling team; Jennifer Hill, swimming head coach; Andrew Turner, swimming assistant varsity; Paige Stuart, swimming diving coach; Paige Gray, swimming junior high; Anton Payne, wrestling head coach; Michael Payne, wrestling JV; Matt Sullivan, wrestling assistant; Glen Meek, winter junior high athletic supervision.

Spring sports: Jay Hale, baseball head coach; Jared Ward, baseball assistant and JV; Evan Lanum, golf head coach; Kent Gray, track head coach; Brandon Lester, boys track assistant; Caleb Blaase, junior high boys track; Chris Oliger, girls track assistant; Hayley Charles, junior high girls track; Bruce Charles, softball head coach; Brad Catey, softball assistant and JV; Chris Robertson, tennis head coach and junior high; Glen Meek, spring junior high athletic supervision.

Summer athletics: Scott Snodgrass, conditioning coordinator and football; Phil Renforth, Caleb Blaase, Jeb Clifton, Ryan Pass, and Betsy Swimm, conditioning coaches; Mark Doerstler, boys basketball; Chris Oliger, girls basketball; Brian Dale, volleyball.

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A version of this article appeared in the July 26 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Bob Hansen is a reporter for the Western Wayne News.