While Crothersville Community School Corp.’s budget has gradually decreased over the past 10 years, Superintendent Terry Goodin shared some bright spots during a recent public hearing.
For one, the corporation’s enrollment as of mid-August was at 454, up about 25 students from the same time last year.
Secondly, he expects the amount to be transferred from the education fund to the operations fund to be below 15%, which is what the state prefers.
Also, stimulus funds have helped the corporation purchase some needed items, meaning it didn’t have to dip into its own money.
Overall, Goodin said the proposed 2022 budget he’s submitting for adoption is $5.3 million. Of that total, $1.9 million will come from local property taxes. He said the adopted tax rate will not exceed $1.64 per $100,000 of assessed value.
“It will probably be less than that. It can’t be more than that,” Goodin said.
During the recent hearing, no one from the public shared comments about the budget. It will be presented to the board of school trustees for consideration of adoption at the next meeting, set for 6 p.m. Sept. 13 at the central administration building, 201 S. Preston St., Crothersville.
Goodin has proposed adopting an education fund budget of $2,871,632. He said all of that money comes from the state, and a big portion of it is based on a corporation’s average daily membership, or enrollment. It goes to pay teachers’ salaries and anything else related to the classroom and instruction.
“That budget adoption is significantly smaller than we’ve had in the last several decades. In 2011, our budget was $4.1 million,” Goodin said. “These numbers are dictated by the state of Indiana, the funding formula that they put together for school corporations through the legislature. The last decade or so, the legislature has been pretty tough on smaller schools. We know that. We’ve dealt with that.”
For the operations fund, Goodin proposed a budget of $1,589,707. He said it comes from 98% property taxes and goes to cover expenses related to operating the capital facilities, including buses, the central administration office, electricity and utilities.
“Our operations fund in the past, the levy and the tax rate are not large enough to keep that in the black, so that’s where we do the transfer out of the education fund side to be able to pay those bills on the operations side,” Goodin said. “In the past, we’ve been above 15%. This year, we won’t be above 15%. We’re going to be able to cut that number significantly.”
For the other two funds, Goodin is submitting $696,483 for debt service and $199,758 for school pension debt.
Goodin said the overall budget he’s submitting is very similar to the current budget.
“We’re blessed with stimulus dollars that allowed us to buy some things — buses that we bought out of the stimulus money — that we would have had to buy out of the operations fund,” he said. “Anything that the feds send to us like that is money we don’t have to spend. We’ve got our hands out and we’re beckoning for all of those dollars we can get, and we make sure that we leverage every penny of that.”
Also during the next school board meeting, Goodin said there will be a hearing to discuss building projects that need to be done. He is joined on a committee by trustees John Riley and Jaime Land to assess the needs.