Schools

City school board OKs 2021-22 budget

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A budget for next school year was passed by members of the Crawfordsville School Board.

The overall budget, totaling $31,183,531, includes multiple funds and a levy which Superintendent Dr. Scott Bowling took the time to explain Thursday during a regular meeting at the middle school.

“This process started in September when we looked at advertising the budget for 2021,” he said. “We had our public hearings last month for our various plans.”

The budget accounts for day-to-day operations throughout the school year but are tied to other school years as well. Middle school building projects, for example, are ongoing and payments for the project are set to replace high school renovation payments next year.

The discrepancy of a levy projected higher than the Referendum Fund, Bowling said, is an example of that.

“The adopted levy is lower for all except for the Referendum Fund. Can you explain why that one is actually higher than the adopted budget,” board member Susan Albricht asked.

“That happens when debt payments are going up from a year where they’ve been lower,” Bowling explained. “The way that we structured that debt — that’s the middle school project — was, as the high school was falling off, the middle school came on. So we had lower payments to start with and then they got much larger.

“As those are getting bigger next year, in 2021, there’s gotta be enough money in there to fund the budget for the rest of this year. So they take what they project our cash balance is going to be, lower than it has been in past years in that fund, because of those higher payments. You have to account for that. And then in the next year the payments are higher, so it takes more tax levy to fund that $2.8 million budget than the year prior because those payments are increasing.”

The $31 million comprises the following funds: Rainy Day, $464,630; Debt Service, $3,225,899; School Pension Debt, $423,118; Referendum Debt, $2,873,685; Education, $16,826,835; and Operations, $7,369,364.

So you can see the totals there, and then the level goes along with it,” Bowling said. One thing to keep in mind there, if you’re looking at it and you’re saying, ‘Well, the levy doesn’t match the budget.’ The Education Fund, just to highlight one, gets all its money from the state; we don’t levy any property taxes there. So that’s why there’s a discrepancy there, and you can see the overall adopted tax rate.”

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