ST. JOHN | The Lake Central School Corp. board on Monday authorized laying off 20 teachers before the start of the 2012-13 school year.
Assistant Superintendent Al Gandolfi named the departments affected by the reductions but not the teachers. Lake Central currently employs 604 instructors.
The school district in March said it planned to lay off 40 teachers. Gandolfi said Monday that retirements and resignations cut that number in half.
The positions slated to be eliminated are two in art, four in elementary education, four in English, two in music, three in physical education or health, two in science, one in social studies and two in world language.
"The administrative team in conjunction with the Lake Central Teachers Association began work to balance the 2012-2013 school budget in October 2011," Gandolfi said.
The certified staff reduction in force is the latest for Lake Central, which has to cover a $3.5 million shortfall in state education funding.
The board in April approved cutting 20 of the district's more than 90 custodians. Those layoffs will be effective July 1. The district's paraprofessional and support staff of more than 200 still is being evaluated for cuts, Gandolfi said.
Senate Enrolled Bill 575, which the Indiana General Assembly passed last spring, prohibits school districts from spending more money than they take in from state government.
The development of the $3.5 million shortfall for 2012-13 began in January 2010 when Gov. Mitch Daniels and the Indiana Department of Education chopped Lake Central's funding by $2.7 million.
Lake Central also has 193 fewer students this school year than in the 2009-10 academic year, according to the latest count. That will result in a loss of about $800,000 for the general fund, which pays salaries, benefits and expenses such as utilities.
In addition, Indiana's funding will drop to $4,662.83 per student this calendar year from $4,805.48 the previous calendar year. That represents a loss of $142.65 per student.
In other business, the Lake Central School Board awarded Larson-Danielson Construction Co., of LaPorte County, the contract to build the new Clark Middle School football field and complete the first phase of the track project.