(Front Row l-r) James Williams, Brittany Bales, Jim Lowe, Dave Heeter (Back Row l-r) Keith O’Neal, Mark Ervin, WaTasha Barnes Griffin

The new CEO explained the new rules of school finance.  Gone are the five silos of money that many of us recall from the days of the bus referendum. 

Muncie Central School Board

Education Observer

The MCS Board has nearly completed its round of once-a-month meetings at local schools.  On these evenings, each school has a few minutes to demonstrate its programs and unique characteristics to the new Board. The Board met on February 26 at North View Elementary.

North View began the evening with five students giving a two-sentence welcome in their native language, which included Arabic, Persian, Chinese and Spanish.  Much of North View’s diversity comes from students living in BSU Scheidler Apartments.  The school boasts many partnerships, including BSU groups and a church.  The principal challenged the Board to address the school’s outdated technology and poor Wi-Fi connection. 

The Student Advisory Board from Central High School also challenged the Board to consider three suggestions:  later high school start times (widely supported with research as beneficial to high school attendance and learning), block scheduling, and E learning days.  The students reported that county schools use E Learning on snow days; why doesn’t MCS?  They also made concrete suggestions for student E Learning accountability.  Block scheduling is the least likely to be implemented, as it requires more teachers and is therefore more costly than regular scheduling.  The Board invited the students to meet directly with Acting Superintendent Steve Edwards. 

The new CEO explained the new rules of school finance.  Gone are the five silos of money that many of us recall from the days of the bus referendum. 

1)  The Education Fund (old General Fund) supports everything that relates to what happens in classrooms:  teacher pay and retirement, travel, technology, curriculum, etc.  It is funded by the State of Indiana and determined by district enrollment.  MCS received $39M for 2019.

 2) The Operation Fund pays for administration, legal costs, building maintenance and repair, capital equipment. (Old Capital Improvement and Bus funds plus items in old General Fund not related to direct instruction.)  Repayment of the state loan to MCS will come from this fund.  The State approved $13.7M for this fund in 2019; money comes from local taxes.  This fund must be managed as efficiently as possible, as tax caps can result in less than the approved income. 

Money can be transferred between these two funds.

3) The Debt Service is unchanged from the previous system.  It also comes from local taxes.  The district needs to plan ahead for balloon payments.  Money cannot be transferred to or from the other funds. 

An update on the Leadership Search (aka new superintendent) comes at one of the March meetings. 

 

~ Bea Sousa, Observer