Teachers and students in the Richland Bean Blossom School Corporation are trying to persuade the school board not to cut their choir teacher. More than people spoke last night on behalf of Ellettsville Junior High choir teacher Brian Paulsen. Paulsen is on a list of possible personnel cuts the district is proposing to try and balance a budget that is $800,000 in the red.
“We want to speak on behalf of Mr. Paulsen because he has been such a great influence in all of our lives as you can see behind me. But he has also taught me to be myself to express myself no matter who was watching,” said one student. “He taught me that music isn’t just from your throat or lungs, it’s directly from the heart.”
Paulsen’s position is one of more than two dozen the school board has discussed eliminating. According to the Master Contract for Teachers any cut has to be based on seniority. Paulsen is first on the list.
The board members stressed they haven’t made any decision and their also considering other ways to reduce the district’s expenses without making personnel cuts. The board approved a retirement incentive which will provide health insurance for two years to any teacher willing to retire.
Richland-Bean Blossom School Superintendent Steven Kain says the incentive may help cut the budget depending on which teachers decide to retire.
“So if they are a teacher we don’t have to replace the savings is quite a bit more than if we have to replace them,” says Kain.
The deadline for teachers to submit a notice of retirement is March 30.