WHERE ARE THEY NOW
August 30, 2013Rossville Middle High School
Cuts coming to Rossville?: School district advertises budget, hearing Sept. 17
ROSSVILLE – The school board will have to make some major cuts to the district’s 2014 budget, according to Superintendent Jim Hanna.
The board voted Tuesday to advertise a public hearing to discuss the document, but Hanna said it’ll have to be pared down significantly.
“We’re going to have to cut,” he said, noting that the board will be faced with tough questions resulting in reductions to staff benefits or school programming.
“There’s no way around it,” he said. “They’ve got to do something. Just one of the two has to happen.”
Hanna explained that the district’s general fund is filled with money from the state of Indiana on a per-pupil basis and used to pay for salaries, benefits, utilities, purchased services, supplies and some other things.
Rossville schools are projected to spend about $5.58 million from the district’s general fund in 2014, just a few thousand dollars less than the state appropriated in 2013. The district’s 2014 budget includes a cushion, requesting about $5.91 million in general fund dollars.
Hanna said Rossville has already shouldered some cost-saving measures this year. He noted that a reduction in force measure that cut an elementary staff member and reduced some extended contracts, saving about $36,000 this year. Hanna said the majority of that savings, though, was eaten up by insurance benefits.
“It’s not just Rossville,” Hanna said. “The revenue is just not there, and it started three years ago when we lost 30 kids.”
Despite an increase in transfer students, Hanna said, enrollment-based state funding has compounded the difficulty of rising costs for districts like Rossville.
“It’s going to take awhile to climb back out of that hole, and so something has to be done,” he said, noting that neither he nor the board wants to cut programming.
The public hearing to discuss Rossville’s budget will take place at 7 p.m. Sept. 17.