While calculating numbers for the 2017 general fund budget, Medora Community School Corp. Superintendent Roger Bane based it on 215 students enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade.
But as of Aug. 24, when the proposed budget was announced during a special school board meeting, the corporation only had 194 students.
Bane is proposing $1,750,100 for the general fund, which pays for employees’ salaries and benefits, day-to-day operations and maintenance.
An increase in enrollment could help the corporation receive close to that amount and not force officials to have to make cuts in personnel or programs.
The next student count is in February, and Bane said that’s when he needs to have around 215 students.
“Last year, our enrollment grew from 214 (in September) to 229 in February, so we always seem to gain in February, so I’m not going to get too stressed about it until I see the February count,” Bane said.
“If my numbers don’t come in around 215, then I will either have to eat into cash balance to fund this or I will make to make some reductions someplace,” he said. “If I can get that number to 215, then I won’t have to make any cuts or any adjustments. I know I have enough cash balance to cover it, so I’m not really overly concerned.”
A public hearing on the budget, which is proposed at $2,717,831 for 2017, is set for 6 p.m. Sept. 19 in the school library. The budget will be up for adoption during the regular school board meeting at 6 p.m. Oct. 10 at the same location.
Medora’s approved general fund budget for 2016 is $1,874,157.
In the spring, Bane announced a general fund budget reduction plan, which resulted in a variety of changes within the corporation.
One big change was eliminating the family consumer science and technology education classes, which cut the jobs of two teachers.
The plan also changed extracurricular programs at the school. Recent negotiations between the school board and Medora Classroom Teachers Association resulted in most of those positions being run by volunteers. Now, the only paid extracurricular positions are volleyball and basketball coaches from the elementary level to high school, the yearbook adviser and high school class sponsors.
The announcement of the plan had some community residents concerned that the school would close.
Bane said if the corporation can maintain an average daily membership, or student count, of 214 students with the approved budget cuts and current costs remain steady, the school can stay open at least eight more years.
With an ADM of 220 students or more and maintaining a cash balance of $250,000-plus, the school can stay open indefinitely, he said.
Bane had estimated the ADM to be 214 this month, but that came up about 20 short.
Student counts are conducted in September and February each school year, and schools receive funding based on those numbers. That money goes into the general fund.
The corporation received $6,315.79 per student in 2014-15 but dropped to $6,197.57 this past school year; however, it’s projected to be back above $6,300 in 2017.
Looking at the rest of the proposed 2017 budget, Bane said there aren’t too many changes compared to this year’s budget.
The approved capital projects fund budget for this year is $237,686, and Bane is proposing $262,112 for 2017.
Capital projects includes payment for any physical work that takes place at the school building and for technology purchases. The corporation doesn’t have any large building projects planned for 2017. Bane said the most expensive projects will be carpeting for the office and library.
Debt service, which includes payment for building construction projects, is at $455,505 for 2017. That number is similar to this year.
The transportation fund, used to pay bus drivers and to repair and maintain buses, is proposed for $110,200 for next year. Again, that’s close to this year’s number.
Bus replacement is budgeted for $80,000 for next year. Bane said he didn’t have to make a bus purchase this year, but he will have to replace one that’s more than 12 years old in 2017.
Pension debt is at $34,914 for 2017, which is close to this year’s amount of $34,775.
Bane also has $25,000 in the rainy day fund in the event of any type of emergency need.
Fund;2017 proposed;2016 adopted
A public hearing on the 2017 budget for Medora Community School Corp. is set for 6 p.m. Sept. 19 in the school library, 82 S. George St.
The budget will be up for adoption during the regular school board meeting at 6 p.m. Oct. 10 at the same location.