For the first time, the Muncie community received direct answers about what is going to happen in the fall for Muncie Community Schools (MCS). The Distressed Unit Appeals Board (DUAB) met publicly at the Muncie Area Career Center gymnasium Monday night to discuss the future of the district.
With a bill that, at one point, included a government takeover of MCS, getting signed into law, many in attendance were looking for answers on what to expect this coming fall.
DUAB plans to send out a Request For Information (RFI) to select the candidates for emergency manager. It said the plan is to post that RFI by Friday and look at the potential candidates by June 1. Final candidates should be selected by June 20, followed by the interview process and the selection of the emergency manager by June 30.
“Especially since we are on a shorter deadline for the process of 2017, we want to give that emergency manager as much time as possible to get in and work with the community and the school corporation,” DUAB Board member Courtney Schaafsma said.
Emergency manager duties will include closing, selling, transferring or leasing school property. As well as approving referendum before they proceed and ensuring MCS has the right administrative staff in place to work towards reducing the deficit. A manager could be an individual or a team of people.
With a full government takeover not being considered until December, Mayor Dennis Tyler says he is optimistic and welcomes the challenge of MCS improving on its own.
“Muncie has always been able to pick itself up by its bootstraps,” Tyler said. “And we will be able to do it again. But, at the end of the day I want to make sure that every child in the community is getting the same quality education that our Constitution demands.”
DUAB said it will be returning to Muncie, but did not set a date. The RFI can be found at DUAB’s website.
DUAB said it will have a public hearing on Dec. 1 to discuss where the district is at that point. Then on Dec. 31 DUAB will make a final decision on whether or not a full state takeover of MCS is necessary.