Atty. Clorius Lay

State re-opens selection for Gary schools Emergency Manager

Contributed By:The 411 News

School board appoints Atty. Clorius Lay to Fiscal Management Board

Last week’s appointment of Atty. Clorius Lay to a position on the new Fiscal Management Board shows the Gary Board of School Trustees is acting to comply with the new law giving the state control of the Gary Community School Corp.

The State of Indiana will manage the Gary school system for the next 5 years to help resolve the district’s financial crisis is defined by language in Senate Bill 567 and was signed into law by Gov. Eric Holcomb.

The bill set up roles and powers of an emergency manager to be appointed by the state’s Distressed Unit Appeals Board and would replace the school board and superintendent. The four member fiscal management board will serve as an advisory group for the emergency manager. Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson selected former State Senator Earline Rogers as her appointee. Indiana’s Supt. of Public Instruction and its State Board of Education will appoint members for the remaining two slots.

The DUAB has re-opened the selection process for the school district’s emergency manager. According to a DUAB statement, the original notice requesting applicants for emergency manager did not reflect “statutory changes” of the new law and those changes may impact responders to their initial School Corporation Emergency Management Services, RFI 17-096. The new notice for responders is RFI 17-111.

Now, the emergency manager must have experiences restructuring loans from Indiana’s Common School Fund, including forgiveness of principal and interest. The emergency manager will be expected to analyze the current debt portfolio of the school corporation and issue a report to the DUAB.

More duties for the fiscal management board are among the changes.

The fiscal management board shall serve as a liaison to and shall work jointly with the DUAB, the mayor of the City of Gary, and the Indiana Department of Education to develop a transition plan to address issues or questions related to the designation of GCSC as a distressed political subdivision and the transfer of powers and duties to the emergency manager and the potential impact of the transition on the Gary community and GCSC.

The fiscal management board shall also work to provide information on a regular basis to parents, students, employees of GCSC and the public on the status of the transition. And, the emergency manager is expected to supervise these actions of the fiscal management board and ensure communication with interested stakeholders is occurring.

Qualifications for appointees to the fiscal management board did not change.

Atty. Lay was a legal adviser to the Calumet Township Trustee and the Gary City Council when those entities were under the control of the DUAB – the trustee in the 1980s and city of Gary from 2010 to 2014. “Before practicing law, I was a financial auditor. Right now, I’m the only bond attorney for tax exempt corporations in Gary,” Atty. Lay said.

Currently, Atty. Lay is a member of the Calumet Township Board.

A fiscal management board member is asked to have 3 years experience in financial management, work experience in finance and business, an understanding of government contracts, and experience in budget development and oversight.

Deadline for emergency manager applicants has been extended to June 16.

Story Posted:05/30/2017

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