The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update


July 2, 2009

ACS head: State budget deceptive

ANDERSON — On Lennon Brown’s first day in charge of Anderson Community Schools on Wednesday, he tried to make sense of a new state budget that meets expectations of a worst-case scenario.

“We could be looking at an $11 million shortfall” in 2011, Brown said. “It means the same thing we’ve been doing in trying to bridge this gap. It’s back to facilities and people.

Even though a greater deficit was expected, “It’s a shock because we were hoping for better,” he said.

Brown, who took over as interim superintendent when Mikella Lowe retired as superintendent, said Thursday that the school system will face further difficult choices soon.

ACS this past school year faced a $5 million budget deficit, and responded by laying off three dozen teachers and closing three schools: Robinson and Southview elementaries and South Side Middle School. Those moves to date have saved the system $3.8 million, Business Manager Kevin Brown said.

But the new state budget adopted on Tuesday continues a formula in which funding follows students. As enrollment and revenue decline at ACS, the budget gap in coming years will widen. ACS officials expect the $5 million shortfall to rise to $10 million in the coming school year.

While the budget approved this week increases overall education funding, it does not assure that all school districts will see an increase in revenue. Indiana Democratic House Speaker Pat Bauer has called for a study into education funding, noting that many school districts in Anderson’s position face costs such as facilities, utilities and insurance that will not decline as enrollment does.

“This is going to require us to do substantial cost-cutting,” Kevin Brown said.

Lennon Brown noted that three of four Anderson-area legislators — Democratic Sen. Tim Lanane and Reps. Terri Austin and Scott Reske — voted against the budget. Republican Rep. Jack Lutz of Anderson voted in favor.

Text Only
Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Front page

How are you spending Easter Sunday?

At church
At an Easter egg hunt
In the great outdoors
A lazy day at home
     View Results