The board of directors of Monroe County Community School Corp. will hold a public hearing Tuesday on the district’s proposed budget for 2022, which stands at $ 142,982,397.
The budget is broken down into education funds, operating funds, debt service funds, school board debt funds and referendum funds.
The bulk of the budget comes from the Education Fund, with a total of $ 73,627,614 slated for 2022, which pays for teachers and building administrators’ salaries and benefits and education expenses. Money for the education fund comes from state tuition support and state revenue sources like sales and income taxes.
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State funding for registrations
When establishing budgets, districts should estimate the number of registrations. School districts receive tuition assistance per student from the state and receive a minimum dollar amount per student, but the average dollar amount per student varies by district depending on factors such as the number of students. that a school serves come from low-income families or require special services. Friday, September 17, was the date the state counted the average number of daily members, or registrations, in districts for the fall semester. There is another counting day in the spring. The MCCSC is expected to receive $ 6,564.27 per student, said John Kenny, MCCSC’s director of business operations.
The MCCSC had 11,181 students in the 2018-19 school year, 11,182 students in the 2019-2020 school year and 10,483 students in the 2020-21 school year, according to the ministry of ‘Indiana Education. Kenny said the district was finalizing numbers from the count date and did not yet have a firm enrollment count, but said it is expected to be up slightly from last year, but still down from two years ago.
The state has a law that schools receive only 85% of the state’s base funding for students who receive half or more of their distance education. The district told the Herald-Times earlier this school year that 1% of students in the district – just over 100 – were using the fully online option I Am MCCSC Online this year.
Effects of distance learning
Districts across the state have raised concerns about full-time in-person students who have so far spent more than half of the school year learning remotely due to absences or related quarantines to COVID-19.
“Certainly there are concerns every time the funding is cut, but we think it’s a very manageable amount depending on how we’ve coded the students whether they’re absent or quarantined.” , Kenny said.
And the state has promised in writing to look into the matter, he said, and to make revisions if districts are unfairly affected by absences as of the September count date for students who have not. may not have otherwise been considered virtual during the exam. the first half of the school year.
On September 10, a letter was sent to schools from Pro Senate Speaker Tem Rodric Bray, R-Martinsville, and House Speaker Todd Huston, R-Fishers, detailing plans for the Indiana General Assembly. and the Indiana Department of Education to ensure in-person students are fully funded during the fall semester.
“House, Senate and DOE leaders have been working on this and believe there are ways to legislatively provide a fair solution for schools once the General Assembly meets for the 2022 session,” says the letter.
On the same day, a letter was sent to superintendents and principals in Indiana by Katie Jenner, Secretary of Education of Indiana, indicating that the proposed legislative solution would allow the IDOE to examine attendance data of students throughout the fall semester to determine if students are considered in person. or virtual rather than just looking at the time period from the start of the school year to Friday’s count date.
The retroactive adjustment would be made after December 31.
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In the 2020-21 school year, schools were able to receive 100% funding for students who learned virtually because of the pandemic due to the action of the Indiana Board of Education and legislators.
Minimum salary for teachers
Teachers’ remuneration comes from the education fund. According to the 2020-2021 collective agreement with the Monroe County Education Association, MCCSC teachers earned between $ 40,000 and $ 77,957 per year. Under Indiana law, formal negotiations could not begin until September 15 and must end by November 15. The district will go through the collective bargaining process with the MCEA again this year.
All state school corporations are required to establish a minimum salary of $ 40,000 for teachers starting in the 2022-2023 school year according to Indiana code 20-28-9-26. If school corporations cannot, they must submit a letter to the state explaining their financial difficulties.
Salaries and benefits for district administrators come from the operating fund. Districts can transfer funds between education and operating funds. This fund also includes a district capital project plan and a bus replacement plan. The operating fund proposed by the MCCSC for 2022 is $ 40,134,386. The operating fund income comes mainly from local property taxes.
The school bus replacement plan for the years 2021-25 has an estimated cost of $ 976,524 for 2022. The district estimates it will spend $ 5.3 million on bus replacement from 2021 to 2025.
MCCSC’s proposed capital project plan outlines plans for 2022 for interior improvements at Unionville Elementary, roof replacement at Highland Park Elementary and Bloomington High School South, and roof repairs across the district, for a total of $ 1,970,000.
The referendum fund stands at $ 11,740,110 for 2022. The 2022 budget coincides with the last year of the current referendum.
The school board debt fund remains stable at $ 1 million. The debt service fund totals $ 16,470,144 for 2022. The debt service fund comes from property taxes.
MCCSC’s 2022 budget represents an increase of $ 6.5 million over the approved budget for 2021.
The school pension debt fund has remained stable while other funds have seen increases. Compared to the 2021 budget, the education fund increased by $ 1.9 million, the debt service fund increased by $ 2.7 million, the operating fund increased by almost $ 913,000 and the referendum fund increased by approximately $ 931,000.
In this year’s legislative session, lawmakers had $ 2 billion in additional revenue over what was originally planned over the next two years and spent half of that amount to increase funding for the Kindergarten to Grade 12 during the biennium. Total spending for K-12 education in the biennium will exceed $ 18.7 billion. The lawmaker increased state tuition support by 4.6% in 2021-2022 and 4.3% in 2022-2023.
Even with a drop in enrollment last year, the district’s costs were within budget, Kenny said. While the numbers are not finalized, this year’s MCCSC enrollment is expected to increase slightly and all districts are seeing an increase in funding per student, which explains an increase in the budget.
And elementary and secondary school emergency relief funds – subsidizing schools during the pandemic – have helped, Kenny said.
“The ESSER funds are kind of how we can minimize the effects of the pandemic on the budget in a way,” Kenny said. “We are able to spend a lot of things on ESSER funds that otherwise should have been spent outside of our budget. This therefore preserves the budget from the effects of the pandemic, as the majority of the costs caused by the pandemic can be covered by ESSER funds. “
The MCCSC’s proposed budget for 2022 can be viewed on the Indiana Gateway website.
A public budget hearing will begin Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the MCCSC Co-Lab, 553 E. Miller Drive in Bloomington. The regular school council meeting will follow.
The budget will be adopted at the school board meeting on October 26 at 6 p.m. at the Co-Lab.
Contact Emily Cox at 812-331-4243, [email protected] or follow @HT_InSchool on Twitter.