NEW HAVEN, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – The beginning of every school year can mean several things, but for the East Allen County Schools (EACS) board it means budget time. EACS board reviewed their budget Tuesday night, which is a projected $84 million for the 2012-2013 school year.
“It’s a combination. It comes from local, state and federal money, but what we reviewed tonight was from local and state money,” said Kirby Stahly, EACS Assistant Superintendent.
Stahly says this year’s budget is approximately $4 million less than last year's budget, but he doesn’t consider that a bad thing.
“We found some different reductions we could make for the budget going forward,” he said. “That'll mean for the district we're just going to have to be more efficient and effective given how we do our projects, and how we staff and how we instruct our students.”
The budget covers the Capitol Projects, debt service, the General Fund, and transportation. But there are some areas of concern within the budget, specifically with the Capitol Projects Fund. That fund is used for infrastructure and renovation projects. Because of the way property values are assessed now, Stahly says they’ve lost $6-8 million over the past several years, which could affect future projects. However, they’ve already got some renovation projects in place.
“We’ve gone through and done a lot of modernization of buildings recently. We’re in pretty good shape, but we have a lot of things that we’re going to have to do to our buildings,” he said.
Despite that set-back, Stahly says they've made improvements in the budget regarding transportation and the General Fund. Stahly says although they’ve had to decrease the number of bus drivers the projected transportation budget will allow them to purchase 12 or 13 new buses.
However, other things, like student enrollment and the district's current assessed value, which they will know later in the school year, still need to be considered in the final budget. Stahly says he expects the final budget to be approved next month, after the board holds public hearings.
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