NJ-SP School Board Reviewing Revenue Figures, Improving Policies

North Judson-San Pierre Admin buildingThe North Judson-San Pierre School Board will be setting the table for future budget discussions.

At their meeting tonight, Board members will learn more about how the latest decisions in the state legislature will affect their fiscal year budget. Superintendent Lynn Johnson says she hopes to explain the new revenue figures to the board.

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Culver Schools Dip into Savings to Balance Budgets

Culver Community School CorporationThe Culver School Corporation is preparing itself for reduced funding levels.

Now that the state of Indiana has determined new school funding formulas, the Culver School Corporation stands to lose revenue. Many rural school districts are facing a similar predicament due to reduced student populations.
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Culver Schools To Consider Rainy Day Fund Resolution Changes

Culver Community School CorporationThe Culver School Board will be considering changes to one of their policies this evening.

According to the school corporation’s agenda, board members will discuss an amendment to the Rainy Day Fund Resolution. Those funds are typically used to address emergency budget concerns.

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Lacking Revenue, Participation Prompt Culver School Board to Eliminate “Shop” Program

Culver Community School CorporationThe Culver School Corporation is hoping students find other classes to take after a decision on Monday night to eliminate an academic program.

Lacking student participation and enrollment prompted administration with Culver Schools to propose scrapping the Industrial Technology classes at the high school and middle school. The classes are more commonly known as “shop.”
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Culver Schools Approve RIF After Search for Alternatives

CulverHSThe Culver School Board continues to work through budget issues.

During last night’s meeting, members begrudgingly approved a Reduction in Force notice for two positions. Reductions in Force are often proposed as a temporary measure to reduce costs while awaiting additional revenue, but can be permanent.
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Culver School Board to Consider Reduction In Force Notices

CulverHSThe Culver School Corporation will be considering RIF notices in the near future.

During tonight’s school board meeting, members will consider a resolution for the Reduction in Force. Removing positions from the books is often an annual process that allows the school corporation to bridge gaps in funding from the state or property tax levy.

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Circuit Breaker Law Means Less Money for City of Knox Budget

 The Knox City Council was faced with a tough decision last night to approve budget reductions made by departments due to the circuit breaker law.

Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston explained the reductions made to the budget to the council members.

“The circuit breaker credits equal $261,249.27,” said Houston. “That is 16.39 percent of the certified levy. The certified levy is the maximum amount of money that you can collect from property taxes. You’ll see the General Fund was cut 18.36 percent, and each one of them was cut about 18.36 percent other than our two debt funds, and they were cut .06 percent.”

Circuit breaker credits amount to less money coming into the city’s budget from the tax distribution. More money is required to be cut this year than last year.

Houston said that he went to each department head to ask them to reduce their budget by a certain percentage.

Now that the process is complete, a resolution to transfer funds was drafted. Houston said he checked with the Department of Local Government Finance, and the process he’s recommending includes putting money into a circuit breaker line item within a department’s budget.

“We still want to be able to get our maximum levy. We don’t want to do a budget reduction. We just want to move these appropriations down into an unappropriated area or circuit breaker area so that we don’t spend more money than we have coming in.”

Houston said about $261,000 is the circuit breaker, and that means the city council will need to watch all spending.

“It’s cutting it right to the bone. There’s no doubt about it. We’ll have to be very frugal. We have to do what we have to do.”

In addition to tax caps, the reduction of the assessed valuation of property can be attributed to some of the loss of tax money coming into the city.

The council members agreed that they have no other choice but to approve the resolution presented to them by Houston. The council approved the resolution for the transfer of funds with a unanimous vote.

Culver Schools Find Enrollment Estimates Inaccurate, Affecting Funding

Culver Community School CorporationEstimates under Indiana’s proposed school funding formula have Culver schools taking a hit on revenue.

Representatives of the school corporation were invited to the statehouse for the third reading of House Bill 1001 in February. That bill deals with the state’s biennial budget, but includes allocations for education.
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State Revenue Sources Fall Short, Wagering Beats Estimates

The state of Indiana has gained a bit of revenue for January compared to the previous year, but fell short of revised estimates.

According to the monthly revenue report from the State Budget Agency, General Fund revenues were $1.3-billion in January. That’s 2.4-percentage points above revenue collected for the same period last year. Those figures are still below estimates for the 2015 fiscal year published in December.
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Indiana Dem Leader Criticizes State Budget Process

Democratic Party DonkeyIndiana Democrats are speaking out against the current state budget process.

House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath out of Michigan City held a news availability to answer questions about what he says are over exuberant elected representatives and the continued murkiness of Indiana’s budget process.
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Budget Approved for City of Knox

 Knox Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston told the city council this week that the budget order came back, and the city is $45 shy of the maximum levy. The maximum levy is the maximum amount of money the city can collect from taxes. Houston said they couldn’t have gotten any closer, which is good.

Houston noted that he spoke to Matt Parkinson from the Department of Local Government Finance who said that the city will know in April about how much the tax caps will affect the city’s budget. When Houston gets that information, he will let the department heads know how much they will need to cut from their department. Last year, the city was cut over $200,000.

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Knox City Council Discusses Budget Pilot Program Analysis

 The Knox City Council members received information about the budget this week from Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston.

The city, along with all other taxing entities in Starke County, is part of a pilot program with the state this year. A meeting was held on Oct. 6 where a state analysis was reviewed. Houston said the county then provided the city with a non-binding recommendation. The city could face a huge cut in 2015.

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Pulaski County Council Holds Budget Public Hearing

 The Pulaski County council members held a public hearing for comments on the 2015 budget.

The council members worked in budget sessions in July to cut over $2 million in the budget for next year. The county is asking for a 2.7 percent increase over last year.

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Knox City Council to Review Budget

 The Knox City Council members were presented with the 2015 budget and the budget calendar during Tuesday night’s meeting.

Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston explained that the budget process has been pushed back a bit due to a pilot program with which the county is involved.

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Starke County Council Talks Budget in Special Meeting

The Starke County Council members had a chance to go over the 2014 budget during their special meeting Friday night.

Council President Dave Pearman noted that it’s a very tough time of the year and the budget process has been very lengthy. The council examined the budget further on Friday night.

“We really just needed to tighten some things up,” explained Pearman. “We’ve really had a lot of difficulty every year – dealing with a frozen levy, dealing with a very small budget for such a large amount of inhabitants with 23,000 people in our county. We have a smaller budget than many counties that have half that many residents.”

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Marshall County Council Makes Reductions to 2014 Budget

The Marshall County Council went through line items in the county’s budget on Monday morning and cut expenses where they thought necessary. Most of the cuts were discussed with department heads on Aug. 20 during an all-day budget hearing.

Approximately $37,000 was cut from the Marshall County Commissioners’ budget while $58,000 was transferred out of several line items in the sheriff’s budget to the certified shares budget. $20,000 was cut from county corrections’ budget as a jail nurse is no longer needed with the contract the county has signed with Quality Correctional Care. The prosecutor’s office was cut just over $40,000.

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