Franklin Township superintendent stepping down
Franklin Township Schools' superintendent will be stepping down.
Dr. Walter Bourke issued a statement Wednesday saying, "It simply seems like the best time for me to pursue new challenges and opportunities. I am looking forward to whatever life brings me next."
Bourke oversaw a tumultuous year during which the school district introduced busing fees. Many parents were outraged by the new fees, and some sued the district. Indiana's attorney general weighed in, saying the fees were unconstitutional. The issue went all the way to Gov. Mitch Daniels, who signed a bill prohibiting school districts from charging school bus fees to students.
Bourke said he was glad the legislation gives districts a way to pay for the bus service by allowing them refinance their debt without a referendum.
Franklin Township came under fire at the start of the school year after turning over its bus service to a non-profit, which charged $47.50 per child per month to ride the bus. The district made the changes to cut costs after two referendums to raise money through property taxes failed.
While 1,900 students continued taking the bus, many others stopped, relying on their parents or car pools to get them to and from school.
Full statement from Dr. Bourke:
"I have informed the Franklin Township Community School Corporation Board of Education that I will be leaving their employment. We plan to work together to ensure that the timeline and process for transition to new leadership is seamless and in our best interests.
In the very near future FTCSC will have overcome its property tax issues, restored general transportation for all students, balanced its general fund budget, and become an award-winning, state-leading, high-performing school district. The administrative team, teachers, parents, students, and supportive patrons in this community have made this an exceptionally positive experience for me and it has literally become my home. It simply seems like the best time for me to pursue new challenges and opportunities. I am looking forward to whatever life brings me next."
- Dr. Walter D. Bourke, Ed.D.