Re-Elect Brad Marley

For West Lafayette School Board

I’ve been committed to our schools, students, teachers, and administrators for over 20 years. I’ve volunteered countless hours well outside of our Board of Trustees. My kids are proud recent Graduates of West Lafayette High School. West Side provided them with the foundation to take on any challenge and set them on their way to follow their dreams. I made the decision to support our schools over 15 years ago not just for my kids but for all our kids and the kids that will follow.  That’s the whole reason we took on the task of placing the general fund referendum on the ballot, and the reason we’ve invested so much in our building projects.

We want to ensure a World Class education and experience for all of our students…after all they are the future.  

Brad Marley
Endorsed by the West Lafayette Education Association
Brad Marley Running

Giving Back Why I'm Running

I believe in giving back. I would like to finish what we have started.  We have the Performing Arts Center we need to construct and fund.  We are developing plans for a new Pre-K school.  We will require another General Fund Referendum. I can confirm it takes one term to learn how Public Schools operate. In conclusion it’s about our kids. Every decision we make has to be in the best interest of our students.

Community My Involvement with the Schools

Debra, and her family are all West Side Alumni as are my daughter and son. I’ve served 3 terms on our School Board, and served as a member of the Teacher Negotiations Committee, the Health Plan Committee, and the Finance Committee. I served 2 years with our West Lafayette Schools Education Foundation and a year on our Blue Ribbon Task Force. I’ve coached youth soccer, baseball, basketball, and football. I work on our Football Chain Crew at West Side home games.

Semi State Football Game

Get More Data

West Lafayette Community School Corporation RDP Projects Update

WLCSC Certified Staff Report 2015-2020

Indiana DOE report showing our enrollment trends

Form 9
Statement of Obligations

Debt Information WLCSC

Form 9 Fund Cash Balances

June 30, 2020

S&P Rating Report

April 29, 2019

Marley Family

Issues My Priorities

  • Ensure a safe and healthy environment for all our Students, Teachers, and Administrators.   Why – The health and wellness of our students and staff are of utmost importance.

  • Engage West Lafayette Coalition for Anti-Racist Education in dialogue involving Teachers, Administration, Students, Alumni and School Board to formulate a plan for addressing the concerns expressed in their letter dated 08/13/20.   Why – The school corporation and the board will not tolerate racism in any way, shape or form.   We need to have open dialogue in an effort to advance a mutually satisfying framework on which we can all move forward toward an environment that is inclusive for everyone.   

  • Maintain fiscal discipline – If not for the referendum fund the corporation could not support operating expenditures, 85% of which are personnel related.  Why- Maintaining a healthy cash balance is prudent if the Referendum is not renewed by the voters. It also acts as a cushion in the event of any unforeseeable cash needs.    

Learn More Questions and Answers

Why are you running for a seat on the West Lafayette Community School Board?

In 2000 my wife, Debra and I were moving back to the area. Both of us are Purdue Alumni and Debra grew up in West Lafayette. Debra, her Brothers and her Father are all alumni of West Lafayette High School. When we were looking at homes she advised “We can live anywhere you want as long it’s in West Lafayette Schools.” In 2000 we moved into our home in University Farm and both of our Children are recent alumni of West Lafayette High School. I can say without hesitation this is the best decision we’ve made in our lives. Our Daughter, Meredith is a MICU Nurse at St. Vincent’s Hospital Indianapolis and our Son Matthew is Senior Neurobiology major at Purdue, with hopes of going on to Medical School. The point of sharing this background is to convey our deep appreciation for what this public school, its teachers and administrators have done for our Family.  

In 2005 I was invited to serve on “The Blue Ribbon Task Force”. This group of local Business People, School Administrators, Purdue Faculty, and retiree’s gathered during that summer to analyze the finances of our School Corporation. From this forum we developed concepts that resulted in the formation of our own West Lafayette Schools Education Foundation and our General Fund Referendum which is now in its second term.  

In 2006 and 2007 I served on the first edition of the West Lafayette Schools Education Foundation. The Foundation played in integral role in raising the funds necessary to save 11 of our own teachers before the 1st Referendum was secured. The Foundation went on to raise the funds necessary to support our campaign for 2 General Fund Referendums as well as a number of projects and improvements inside our schools. 

In 2007 I was invited to join the School Board as newly appointed member.  I am now running again in 2020. Together we have accomplished much:  2 General Fund Referendums, A new 4-6 Grade School, A renovated and updated K-3 School, a new state of the art Natatorium and Cafeteria at our High School. We also have a tremendous staff, great teachers, and awesome students.  

I am running because I believe in giving back. I would like to help finish what we have started. We have the new Jim Guy Science wing to complete.  We have the Performing Arts Center we need to construct. We will most definitely require another General Fund Referendum. I believe my experience would benefit our Schools. I can confirm it takes about one term to learn how Public Schools operate. Then the rules continue to change and you have to adapt.  In conclusion it’s about our kids. Every decision we make has to be in the best interest of our students.   

What is your experience with public education?

I am a product of Public Education having graduated from Greencastle High School in 1981, my Mother was a 1st Grade School Teacher for 25 years at Ridpath Elementary. My father started out teaching business and Coaching at Rensselaer High School before working for Indiana State and DePauw University in the Business Office all of which led him to a career in banking. (I was raised by Public School Teachers). My wife Debra has been a Para-professional at WLES for the last 10 years. Both of my children are West Side Graduates (Class of ’14 and Class of ’17). I coached Little League / Pony League Baseball for 8 years, Youth Basketball for 5 years, and youth soccer for 5 years. I have served in various roles / committees for the last 15 years. I’ve served our School Board for over 12 years. The last 4 plus years as Secretary. I am also on the Negotiations Committee as well as our Insurance / Health Plan Committee. I also sit on our Finance Committee which we use to assist in setting our General Fund Referendum rate.  

What has the district done well over the last four years?

  • We’ve educated and prepared nearly 800 young people for their entry into the next phase of their lives.  
  • We’ve supported our talented, highly trained, and exceptional teachers.
  • We’ve supported our Extra- curricular / co-curricular programs. 
  • We’ve built a new state of the art 4-6 Grade Primary School
  • We’ve renovated and improved a 50 plus year old K-3 School into a modern elementary school
  • We’ve built a new state of the art Natatorium and expanded our school cafeteria.  
  • We’ve began construction on our new Jim Guy Science Wing at the Jr. Sr. High School.
  • Our new Performing Arts Center is waiting in the wings.  
  • We’ve operated under a balanced budget while preserving cash (just in case our next referendum is not approved or we have an emergency)   
  • We’ve opened our schools for the 2020-2021 school year under a pandemic with little direction and no additional funds.   

What has the district done that you would change?

I would have liked to roll out the reopening plan earlier to allow all parties to make better informed decisions, but that was not possible. 

If we had more time we could have introduced a confirmed e learning option in the beginning. We did not have that luxury. We explained that our plan would evolve and change over time. We also needed to survey our student enrollment preferences in order to better understand the required resources needed to provide both in class instruction and e learning.  

It would have been helpful if the State had introduced a mask requirement before we rolled out our reopening plan. That would have helped us avoid that discussion / debate. As it turned out we had no backstop had we enacted such a policy without the State activating the law.    

I believe our school corporation would benefit from having a Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator to support our efforts for inclusion and embracing diversity. We have a very diverse community and our school reflects this.   We should have the resources to support this effort. 

What skills do you possess that you feel would make you an effective board member?

  • Effective listener / adept at gathering input and building consensus. 
  • Work well with others / worked with Teams for the last 30 years in the financial services industry /as well as community organizations 
  • Financial / Business acumen 
  • Organized / Understand Goal Setting / Prioritization 
  • Strong work ethic 
  • Community Minded and Engaged / Redevelopment Commission Member – City of West Lafayette, Board Member Greater Lafayette Commerce, Board Member Greater Lafayette Police Foundation. Precinct Committee Member Wabash Township – 8. Former Member West Lafayette Board of Works and Public Safety.  
  • Thankfully in good health. Train 6 days / week  

What are the three priority issues you think the board should address and why?

  1. Ensure a safe and healthy environment for all our Students, Teachers, and Administrators. Why – The health and wellness of our students and staff are of utmost importance.  
  2. Engage West Lafayette Coalition for Anti-Racist Education in dialogue involving Teachers, Administration, Students, Alumni and School Board to formulate a plan for addressing the concerns expressed in their letter dated 08/13/20. Why – The school corporation and the board will not tolerate racism in any way, shape or form. We need to have open dialogue in an effort to advance a mutually satisfying framework on which we can all move forward toward an environment that is inclusive for everyone.   
  3. Maintain fiscal discipline – If not for the referendum fund the corporation could not support operating expenditures, 85% of which are personnel related. Why - Maintaining a healthy cash balance is prudent if the Referendum is not renewed by the voters. It also acts as a cushion in the event of any unforeseeable cash needs.    

How should the school board work with the West Lafayette Education Association?

Open dialogue and collaboration. Our Teachers are our most important asset. They are deeply committed to our students. Many of our Teachers work long hours even more so with our E learning platform. I have served as one of the Board representatives on the negotiations committee for over 8 years and I have personally witnessed the professional interaction and collaboration. The administration and the school board have a solid working relationship with the WLEA.  

Some students and alumni have challenged the district’s curriculum and hiring practices, demanding what they called “anti-racist education.” Do you believe their criticism of the district was fair and on point? What should the district’s response be?

We received letters from The West Lafayette Coalition for Anti-Racist Education on June 18th and August 13th as well as a petition signed by 802 West Side alumni and students.  We will not tolerate racism  in any way, shape or form. The experiences communicated by some of the WLCARE members are eye-opening and revealing. We should gather all stakeholders and work in a collaborative manner to develop strategies and approaches that will advance or school district in a diverse, welcoming and inclusive environment.  

WLCSC Debt Summary

There have been a few questions raised both in person and online regarding West Lafayette School Corporation Finances. The corporation strives to communicate this information and its goal is to have the most expeditious and complete information available.    

First it is important to understand how school projects over $5 million have to be funded. The biggest fund of the standard property tax supported funds is the debt service fund.  That’s where the big projects occur.  Debt service is the “mortgage” or bonds used to finance large projects.  These are the only way that Indiana allows schools to build projects.  For example, schools can’t save up money for a big project like a homeowner could for a kitchen remodel or addition.  Schools have to “mortgage” (bond) for the project. The State of Indiana only allows schools to spend what they tax in a given year. And so, the debt service fund is where schools build these projects by in effect mortgaging.  

Now, most all of us have mortgages, and we typically try to pay those mortgages off by the time we retire.  But a school never retires.  A school always has debt if it’s taking care of its facilities as it should.  A school without any debt is a school system where you’ll find neglected facilities.

The following is a brief summary of our current debt, how it came to be, what we owe and how it is covered.  

It is important to note, and will be detailed below, that the corporation is not transferring Operating Referendum Funds to meet debt service obligations and has not raised the debt service tax rate.

Strategic planning by the administration and the board allowed all these projects to happen without a Project Referendum which would have caused large tax increases that would have been above the tax caps for homeowners. 

Debt Summary:

Background: 

Our Corporation requested a facility analysis in 2014/15 from Schmidt and Associates. It revealed some stark realities.   Happy Hollow and Cumberland Elementary were built in the early 60’s.  Our Jr. / Sr. High School received a makeover in the mid ‘90’s.     The study revealed that we had a tremendous amount of work ahead of us just to meet code and current educational standards. The estimate was $17,000,000 in Happy Hollow alone just to bring that building up to code without any improvement in the size and configuration of the classrooms.     

Following this study the Corporation commissioned a local facilities planning committee consisting of 47 members, including friends, neighbors, teachers, administrators and board members.   The group was led by former LSC Superintendent, Ed Eiler.  

Following a number of meetings the Committee established our building priorities:   

  • A new intermediate school. Which was completed in October of 2018 and now known as WLIS. 
  • New cafeteria addition, plus new classroom space, a new library and restrooms to Cumberland Elementary School now known as WLES. 
  • New Aquatic Center at the high school with cafeteria expansion and classroom additions at the Jr. Sr. High School.  
  • New Science wing at the Jr. Sr. High School that would add needed class rooms and lab space at the New Jr. Sr. High School,
  • New performing arts expansion. 

Following the Committee recommendations we began to obtain design schematics and estimated costs.  Once we had these items in hand we organized and held 5 town hall meetings, 2 subsequent follow up meetings and 8 public hearings to introduce and vet our potential building projects with the whole community.  

We received public input and ultimately support for all of the proposed projects. The total estimate at the time was near $50,000,000.   We explained that the costs would likely increase by the time construction began and that our Assessed Value was also expected to increase.  Both of these events occurred.   We were able to meet most of the funding requirement with the increase in AV while we kept the levy at the same rate, .5375 / $100 of Assessed Value.       

All in the total costs were near $84,000,000. Our current principal balances are illustrated below: 

Summary of debt information

Loan Principal balances as of 06/30/20

Building Corp. Loans Amount Purpose
2017 Bond $45,020,000 WLIS, WLES, Jr / Sr. 
Cafeteria & LGI area
2018 Bond $15,000,000 Aquatic Center
2019 Bond $14,955,000 Science wing and
Performing Arts Center
2020 Bond
$  7,450,000
Performing Arts Center
Total $82,425,000
Common School Loans $1,245,066 Technology
GOB of 2013 Bond  $135,000 Building Improvements
$83,805,067

As noted above, our total debt / borrowing is $83,805,067. The $127,195,810 reported on Gateway is inclusive of all principal plus interest and bond costs paid over the entire term which is 20 years.    The reason it’s reported this way is because the School Corporation has entered into a long term lease agreement with the West Lafayette School Building Corporation.  Bond underwriting requires that the School Corporation enter into a lease agreement with the Building Corporation in order to ensure repayment of the bonds.  This is the only collateral the bond holders have because public schools are not allowed to mortgage any real property because technically it is public property.     

During the Jr. Sr. High School overhaul in the 90’s   The Corporation funded those costs with bond debt that was repaid through the Debt Service Tax Levy of .5375 / $100 of assessed value.   Those bonds were recently retired.   Due to lower rates, the analysis revealed the corporation could nearly meet the debt service requirement on all of our new bond debt if we maintained the .5375 / $100 Levy.  Simply put, there is no increased tax to the property owners.   

In addition, we have had rental income from Happy Hollow.  We have a number of potential uses for Happy Hollow that could generate added revenue for our corporation including a Pre – K school or even another lease agreement.   It should also be noted that our own West Lafayette Schools Education Foundation has generated over $2,000,000 in cash which can also be utilized for building projects / bond coverage if needed.  

Debt Fund

Budget for 2020 $6,574,537

Use of Funds: Amount
Debt / Lease Payments $5,548,537
Trustee Bank Fees $5,000
Unreimbursed Text Books $21,000
Amount we need to fund $5,574,537

Funding Sources

Sources: Amount
*Tax Levy $5,202,204
Excise Tax $277,432
City Lease Payments $500,000
Cash Balance draw $200,000
**Circuit Breaker $(600,000)
Total Sources $5,579,636

*AV of 967,851,887 divided by $100 x tax rate of .5375 = $5,202,204 Levy.

**The circuit breaker which was a legislative action that capped property taxes, will reduce our levy by $600,000.00

The corporation is meeting the debt service obligation through a combination of Levy, Excise Tax, City Lease payments for use of Happy Hollow and cash reserve in the Debt Service Fund.  If the AV continues to increase the Corporation will have more income to service debt payments.   

To reiterate, the corporation is not transferring Operating Referendum Funds to meet debt service obligations and has no plan to do this.  Operating Referendum funds are used entirely to fund General Fund Expenditures.