As Wawasee looks at a bleak financial future, I thought it might be helpful if we passed along a few pointers about school finance. Picture a small bowl of water sitting on your sink. Now picture the water faucet running. The running faucet is like the school district's revenue stream. The bowl of water is like the General Fund cash balance.
The state of Indiana has cut the faucet back $175,000 this year. Current budget bills, if passed, would project cuts again for the next two years as well. If current projections were true, Wawasee schools would have to look at cutting anywhere from $400,000 to $600,000 dollars from our ongoing expenses in the next two years. Picture cutting back the water faucet, once, twice, three times in a row. Raiding the small water bowl (cash balance) won't help this problem.
When revenue streams are cut then ongoing expenses have to be cut. One year savings won't help. What does this mean? Wawasee will have to make some tough decisions is what it means. People are asking hard questions, like, "What about my job? Will I have one?"
These decisions have NOT been made yet, but will need to be made by April 15. I will be announcing the first $175,000 in cuts and cost shifts next week. These cuts and cost shifts have not affected personnel at this time. But we have a long way to go.
I still welcome ideas and thoughts about cost savings from the General Fund. Transportation and Computer Technology and Equipment and Repair type of savings will not help the General Fund. Ninety (90) percent of General Fund expenses are salaries and the other ten (10) percent is mostly supplies, utilities and property and casuality insurance.
I have received several helpful ideas already. However, one thing is clear. E-mailing your legislators and governor are the only way to express a concern to those who can help. Your school board does not have control over the state funding formula.
The Wawascene was created by Dr. Mark Stock, former Superintendent of the Wawasee Community School Corporation. Due to its local popularity, Dr. Stock has left the blog site to future Wawasee administrators.
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