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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Thursday, March 24, 2005

What comes out of the General Fund?

Yesterday we discussed the 6 coffee cans on your countertop that represent the 6 school funds that are used for all educational expenses.

Today we will talk briefly about the largest coffee can on your countertop - the general fund. Ninety percent (90%) of this fund is salaries and benefits. This is because we are a service industry and our operation generally requires personnel instead of machinery and equipment.

The other ten percent (10%) of expenses is made up of materials and supplies (mostly consumables like paper, pens, ink, ink cartridges etc. ), utility costs (natural gas and NIPSCO bills), property and casualty insurance and other miscellaneous expenses.

Who puts the money in this coffee can to keep the operation running?

As mentioned yesterday, 54% of the money comes mostly from the local tax payer in the form of property taxes and excise taxes. This 54% is a little deceiving because the state provides some "property tax replacement credit" to offset this amount. Why? Because there was an outcry from patrons around the state when property taxes were adjusted to represent market value. To offset the increase the state agreed to "replace" some of it with state money. This hasn't gone so well because the state is broke and doesn't have enough to "offset." This is why the state is considering capping the property tax replacement money and telling the local district to add a local option income tax. Here we go again. I view this as ANOTHER shift of state responsibility to the local tax payer.

The other 46% of the revenue for the general fund comes from the state in the form of state support.

So why is Wawasee so far down the state rankings in revenue per pupil? (We are 269 out of 305 school districts).

I will answer this when you are in a better mood! :-)

Have a great Good Friday weekend!! :-)


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if I understand correctly, but do believe that staff training would be a part of the general fund. Here's an idea... we could cut costs by not sending so many personnel to the Renaissance training in Texas annually. We're talking not only just the cost for registration, but air fare, hotels and food. It seems strange to me that so many were sent and yet we are having a budget crisis!

Dr. Mark J. Stock said...

Fair question, or actually a comment. The reason is that the money for that trip is taken from Professional Development money that comes from the state that is earmarked only for training. This money is sent to the school district separate from the other General Fund money.

It cannot be spent for a different purpose.

If you are saying you would rather it be spent on a different training program or workshop, that is fair debate. It just means that it goes to another conference or workshop or speaker.

However, it cannot be spent to keep from cutting another General Fund expense.

Another "Alice-in-Wonderland" school finance quirk.

It is called categorical funding.

Fair comment. Thanks for posting.