Public invited to learn about Medora school referendum

The Medora Community School Corp. board of school trustees will have a special meeting Monday night.

The purpose of the meeting, which starts at 6 p.m. in the media center at the school and is open to the public and press, is to discuss the possibility of an operations referendum on the May 3 primary election ballot for Carr Township voters.

Superintendent Roger Bane said if that passes, it would support the corporation’s operations fund.

“(The circuit breaker) is hitting us so hard in the operations fund,” he said. “We’ve been transferring an average of $135,000 a year from our education fund to support the operations fund, and with our enrollment the way it is, we really can’t afford to keep doing that.”

During Monday’s meeting, the school board also will consider adoption of a referendum tax levy resolution.

For the September 2021 student count, Medora’s average daily membership for K-12 was 147, a decrease from 162 in September 2020. The ADM determines how much money the corporation receives per student for the education fund.

That fund is dedicated to paying for student instruction and includes expenses related to academic achievement and instructional support, such as teacher and principal salaries, school supplies and technology. No local property tax dollars go to the fund, as it is funded by the state based on student enrollment.

The operations fund includes expenses related to the school board, superintendent, central office and some school personnel, paying bills, bus costs and other costs of operating the school. The fund is based on the corporation’s assessed value.

The Indiana Department of Education doesn’t want school corporations to transfer more than 15% of the money they receive in their education fund to the operations fund.