Funding continues to be main concern at schools


This is part of a continuing series of stories examining what to expect in 2014, from government to courts to schools.


GREENFIELD — It might be a new year, but schools will confront several old problems in 2014.

As has been the case for several years now, school boards and administrators will continue to struggle with budget issues, and few of them predict any relief will be offered by the state Legislature.

From worries about transportation – at least two superintendents are expressing serious reservations about maintaining bus service – to protecting funding for full-day kindergarten, administrators have a long list of worries.

“Obviously, funding is the main issue,” Mt. Vernon Superintendent Bill Riggs said. “Some of the legislation that has been put in place has had some unintended consequences.”

Once again, administrators are concerned about losing funding through the impact of the protective tax levies scheduled go into effect. The implementation would make  sure districts have enough money in their debt service fund by taking revenue from the other three property tax-funded areas: bus replacement, transportation and capital projects.  

“If it isn’t delayed again or hopefully eliminated, it could be the kiss of death for a lot of school corporations,” Riggs said. “With the (debt) numbers some of us have, we won’t have any money in any of the other funds, and we will be in a position where we can’t transport kids to school.”

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