As news breaks that Dr. Hinckley is no longer Emergency Manager of Gary Schools, the following is an email sent to Indiana’s Distressed Unit Appeals Board, and legislative appointments to Board. Similar reports to them were made by other citizens since August. They have yet to address.
“As the DUAB board looks to the budget, the following actions of the Emergency manager have not been included in any reports, nor been addressed by DUAB.
These changes have never been publicized .
Enrollment of Bethune Early Childhood was cut in half by changing from AM and PM session to ful day.
Bethune has maintained an average enrollment of 514 over past 5 yrs. (source DOE); conservatively 250 students were lost.
While HHS is moving toward full day for PreK, this demands investigation, discussion and in the case of Title, parental input.
Bus service to Bethune was eliminated
The RFP for bus service included Bethune‘s AM and PM Sessions
Emergency Manager March 2018 reports cited enhanced services and no cuts.
Rep Cherish Pryor and others specifically asked about safety of PreK to which she responded GSCS would be compliance.
Bethune is Title 1 funded.
Recent grants were awarded to enhance Montessori rooms and repair roof.
Parents were not notifed of the academic changes nor transportation.
Grant monies have not been utilized as awarded.
(As of yet I am still waiting for accounting from federal agencies regarding past awards, accounting, and grant applications)
Dr. Hinckley listed Bethune for sale citing it would close at end of 2019.
Per email from DUAB, this has not been discussed
During Recovery LLC’s initial 7 months, changes to Bethune were never discussed nor reported in any of the 10+ public meetings on finances, buildings, consolidation, etc.
A new concern comes from the August report and 2019 budget.
Bethune 2017 enrollment is listed as 255
DOE lists 2017 enrollment at 547
Dr. Hinckley’s previous reports list 2017 enrollment at 539
The public does have recourse when they do not agree with a decison- these changes are not noted anywhere. Despite calling attention to them 2 months ago- the GCSC website still lists Bethune as offering morning an afternoon sessions and transportation.
Dr, Hinckley has total authority to make these changes.
DUAB has responsibility to- at the very least- inquire why they were made and any supporting rationale.
Necessary changes may not be embraced by all, but they must be ethical .
The children of Gary and the people of Gary deserve better from our State and this board. Not because of federal mandates for Title 1, not because of civil rights protection for predominantly african american commnunity, but because it is just.