Boone cleared of Title IX charges

The Daniel Boone School Board unanimously approved Sept. 23 a Resolution Agreement that closes the investigation of a Title IX Complaint filed with the Office of Civil Rights two years ago.

Superintendent Dr. Gary L. Otto said the OCR found no gender discrimination within the district’s athletic program.

“There was no basis to the complaint and no inequities were found,” said Otto.

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Board President Andrew Basile said the district has spent close to $12,000 on the two-year investigation and the district’s defense.

Subers said last Aug. 27 that he was working with the district’s Athletic Facilitator Michelle Goss to gather the information requested by the Office of Civil Rights.

“OCR is now allowing a self-assessment for the 2012-13 school year,” said Otto.

The Title IX charges were regarding the lack of a coach for the girl’s Middle School softball team and equipment issues at the high school.

The board hired a new softball coach in March 2012.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 “protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance.”

Birdsboro Elementary Center Physical Education Teacher Dee Stamy told the board that their decision to reduce the elementary encore instruction time from 45 minutes to 30 minutes has affected 1,400 students in a number of different ways.

The instruction times were reduced to save money and balance the 2013-14 budget.

Basile said the savings was $465,000.

“There is no longer enough time to do The President’s Challenge Physical Fitness Tests, kids are crying that they can’t finish art projects,” said Stamy, adding, “All specials lose an hour of time each month. There is no Select Chorus anymore -- no time to offer it.”

“If your children were affected by these cuts, I am sure you would have elected to keep the specials time. I’m glad you voted the basic skills back in. But you are limiting their probably only exposure to the arts and music. Shame on you school board members for not coming in to our schools to see what we do in the specials.”

Stamy said she will send the board a list of what the specials provide to students.

“Every board member weighs every decision very carefully,” said Basile. “We live with the decisions every day and we do not make decisions recklessly or carelessly. What you don’t know is how much time and effort goes into these decisions. We’re volunteering our time for these positions, or in the schools, and we do care for the kids, but at some point we need to make tough decisions.”

Basile said the district’s $700,000 surplus from the 2013-14 budget process will be discussed at the board’s Finance Committee meeting on Sept. 25.

“You pulled a surplus and you should be able to restore the specials,” said Shane Kochel, Union Township. “You keep taking and taking from the students. If you truly care, then there should be an automatic response if you pull a surplus -- especially a $700,000 surplus. It just seems that you had the money to keep them and you chose not to.”

Basile said the surplus resulted from reduced spending on school supplies.

“Our goal is to spend that surplus money now instead of cutting programs,” said Basile. “We’re looking at a deficit of $3 million. It’s premature to talk now about bringing that back.”

Otto said the district saved $33,600 by utilizing a flexible, four-day summer schedule; the electrical savings was $30,000.