The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Local Education

January 22, 2014

New law threatens school bus service

State law would force schools to address debt

(Continued)

“You have schools where somebody hasn’t managed money well in the past and now they’re in a jam,” Kenley said.

Some state legislators looking for a solution for the problem said poor financial management isn’t the only reason for the districts’ woes. Schools confronting declining property values and a large share of residential taxpayers – who proportionately pay less in property taxes than business – also find themselves in a pinch.

There’s no consensus yet on what the fix needs to be. State Sen. Randy Head, R-Logansport, has proposed creating a grant program, administered by the state Department of Education, that would help hard-hit schools replace revenue lost by the property tax caps.

Other proposed legislation would give schools more flexibility in paying off debts by easing some of the restrictions imposed by the new protected levy law. Some school officials, meanwhile, are asking legislators to create another local-option income tax to funnel more money directly to school districts.

Kenley, meanwhile, said he’s confident that a temporary solution will be found during the short, legislative session that must wrap up by March 15. But he also expects legislators will return next year, during the longer budget session, to re-examine larger issues of school funding.

Maureen Hayden covers the Statehouse for the CNHI newspapers in Indiana. She can be reached at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com. Follow her on Twitter @Maureen.Hayden.

 

Local impact A state law, intended to force school corporations to pay off debt, set to go into effect July 1 will further reduce the amount of money Madison County area school districts can use to provide bus service. This table shows the original levy amount for transportation, how much of that money was taken out of the transportation levy by "circuit breaker" limitations on property taxes last year, and how much money will be taken out under the new law. Corporation Levy Previous Law New Law Total loss Alexandria $438,537 -$32,258 -$45,875 11% Anderson $5,300,060 -$1,577,427 -$3,069,863 58% Daleville $358,684 -$14,383 -$32,321 9% Elwood $507,822 -$152,477 -$444,044 87% Frankton-Lapel $1,367,516 -$229,739 -$723,835 53% Madison-Grant $687,468 -$2,438 -$3,862 1% Shenandoah $677,273 -$8,940 -$13,329 2% South Madison $1,685,491 -$260,834 -$913,257 54% Source: Indiana Legislative Services Agency

Text Only
Local Education
  • FEA - HB0728 - Fresh Orientation - SH Elwood freshmen learn the ways of high school through mentoring program About half the 112 incoming freshmen at Elwood Jr./Sr. High School got a jump on their friends recently by attending a freshman orientation session. Joan Mercer, an English teacher who helped organize the the orientation, said the mentor program, which has been in place for several years, has been effective in new students make the high school transition.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - HB0727 - Teacher Blessing - 13 Church's donation a blessing for teachers Thirty teachers attended the second annual Blessings for Teachers on Saturday at Anderson First Baptist Church.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • 24th Back-to-School parade and picnic on Aug. 2 The 24th annual Ollie H. Dixon Back-to-School parade and picnic will be held on Saturday, Aug. 2, in conjunction with the Anderson Parks Department.

    July 26, 2014

  • Elwood schools seek election change Elwood Community Schools is seeking to change the process for the way that members of the school board will be elected starting with the November election.

    July 25, 2014

  • South Madison superintendent contract OK'd South Madison Community Schools officials Thursday unanimously ratified a new three-year contract for Superintendent Joe Buck, and approved textbook fees for middle and high school students.

    July 24, 2014

  • Vaughan, Nancy Madison County grad rates and test scores improve, but still lag state High school graduation rates and standardized test scores in English, math and science all improved among public school students in Madison County from 2009 to 2013, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

    July 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • Pay for South Madison soccer coaches under review An ad hoc parent group wants the South Madison Community Schools board to consider raising the stipend for Pendleton Heights High School soccer coaches.

    July 21, 2014

  • FEA - HB0721 - Rotary Exchange - JC 1 Foreign exchange program builds lasting friendships Paulina Berger returned to her hometown in Olpe, Germany on Friday, but she left something important behind: part of her heart. The 16-year-old spent a year living with three host families in Anderson as part of the Rotary Youth Exchange program.

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • FEA HB0721 ISU Normal Hall Work underway to restore ISU's Normal Hall The sounds of heavy equipment, impact drills and even a large wrecking ball are evidence of a renovation underway at Normal Hall, Indiana State University's oldest academic building.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • HHS class of '66 seeks classmates The Highland High School Class of '66 will host its 48th class reunion on Aug. 23. Contact information is needed for several classmates.

    July 19, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide