Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

News

April 10, 2014

Greensburg schools to cut spending by $500,000

GREENSBURG – Greensburg Community Schools plan to cut about $500,000 in expenditures for the next school year, primarily through staffing cuts.

Superintendent Tom Hunter said Tuesday that state funding is declining, while costs are increasing, and local schools need to make the cuts to bring expenditures in line with revenues.

The projected cuts, about 3.4 percent of this year’s budget, can be achieved only if the corporation cuts personnel, Hunter said, because about 90 percent of the schools’ expenditures are related to personnel.

The superintendent had told the school board last month that the corporation expects to see its revenues cut by about $225,000 because of state property tax caps. The state in 2010 limited the amount of taxes paid by people who own property in Indiana. Taxes for homeowners, for example, were capped at 1 percent of assessed valuation. That means owners of a home assessed at $100,000 can pay no more than $1,000 in annual property taxes.

Without the tax caps, local schools would receive $225,000 more in revenue this year. Last year, the tax cap impact was less than $200,000.

At the same time, Hunter said that expenditures for salaries, insurance and fuel are increasing. Utility costs alone are expected to rise by about 7 percent, he said.

“There are a lot of costs we have no control over,” Hunter said.

The corporation expects to reduce personnel among its teaching, administrative and non-teaching staff, primarily by not replacing employees who are leaving or retiring. Hunter said he will present more details at the next meeting. He said the corporation also has directed administrators to continue to find ways to cut costs on supplies.

Lunch prices will increase 5 cents next year, to $2.15. Hunter said the increase is being mandated by the Indiana Department of Education.

Scott Hershauer, director of technology, told the board that teachers are reporting positive results from a pilot program that has introduced some tablet computers into classrooms at the junior high and elementary schools.

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