EACS Approves 2012 Budget

By Maureen Mespell
By Rachel Martin

October 4, 2011 Updated Oct 4, 2011 at 11:13 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) -- Eastern Allen County Schools (EACS) board approved the 2012 budget Tuesday night.

At the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year, EACS school board proposed a $59.6 million budget. However, there was a $1.7 million deficit. Luckily, EACS received $1.8 million for federal jobs funding and used that money to balance the budget.

About 100 cuts in staffing were made this year, and the board said there are actually plenty of staff and teachers to properly educate students this year. Those cuts were made based off enrollment at the end of last school year. Currently enrollment is down 250 students from last year, but there are still more students than EACS expected. Assistant Superintendent Kirby Stahly said the district will still come out "in the black" after student "Count Day."

Student "Count Day" is a designated day out of the school year where enrollment is taken to help the state determine funding for schools. For now, districts state wide only have one student "Count Day", but Indiana Superintendent Tony Bennett plans to create more "Count Days" for more accurate funding in the upcoming school years.

If EACS has fewer students on student "Count Day" versus the beginning of the year, they will not lose any funding in the budget. However, if numbers are over, they will not receive any more. Over the years there has been a downward trend in enrollment for the district, therefore they will receive less funding over time and will be forced to make additional cuts. How much funding they will lose and what those cuts will be, will be addressed in the Spring when the board discusses the 2013 budget.

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