Brownstown school officials announce 2017 budget

While making projections for the 2017 budget earlier this summer, Brownstown Central Community School Corp. business manager Harry Rochner estimated this fall’s student count to be at 1,677.

That was based on the average daily membership increasing from 1,594 in September 2013 to 1,671 in September 2015.

School officials anticipated the ADM to stay around the 1,671 level, and budget decisions for 2017 were based on that count.

But when the number of students in kindergarten through 12th grade recently was announced, the corporation only had 1,580 students — a loss of 91 students.

One reason for the drop was 139 students graduated in the spring and only 103 enrolled in kindergarten. Plus, 23 students moved out of state, 23 chose to be homeschooled and 59 moved to Columbus, North Vernon and Seymour. The moves appear to be mostly related to job opportunities for families, school officials said.

Since the ADM drives the general fund, Rochner was concerned his estimate of $10,861,021 was too high. The corporation’s general fund for this year is $10,512,154. It receives $5,672 per student, and that amount can fluctuate based on the ADM increasing or decreasing.

A big part of the general fund is used to pay staff and provide programming for students.

During the summer, as enrollment began to drop, action was taken to reduce cost for the 2017 budget, Rochner said. An opening for a teacher was not filled, and other areas are being evaluated for budget cuts.

Fortunately, Rochner said the corporation has a balance in the rainy day fund for these situations that allows time to make necessary adjustments to balance the budget.

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Zach Spicer is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at or 812-523-7080.