School Officials Reach Out to Community for Help

By Katie Hargitt

Published 04/14 2014 05:11PM

Updated 04/15 2014 02:37PM

More than 100 students have left South Vermillion School Corporation over the last three years. Superintendent Dave Chapman says he needs help from businesses to reverse the trend.

"One of the things that everybody looks at when they're looking for places to start a business, looking for jobs, if they're family oriented, is jobs," said Chapman.

Monday night the South Vermillion School Board will meet with business leaders to develop a plan to keep the district afloat. Bill Laubernds is the director of Vermillion Rise, an industrial park in the county that is working to attract businesses and families.

"There's a lot of unemployment and you have a population that is older and that population obviously is not creating a work force," said Laubernds.

Chapman says the district also hired retired Indiana State University professor, Dr. Bob Boyd, to conduct a feasibility study. North East School Corporation in Sullivan County hired Dr. Boyd in 2013 to aid in the decision to close Union High School and Dugger Elementary.

"We're being proactive to the point where we're not at that stage yet, but say five to 10 years down the road, if the current trend continues to go where it's going, we're going to have to make a decision on facility utilization for example," said Chapman.

They are trying to get ahead of the issue. Superintendent Chapman says if current decreases continue, in five years enrollment could be down up to 20 percent.

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