Finances discussed at WRV public works session



WRV Superintendent Bob Hacker discussed the current financial state during the public works session last Wednesday.

“There were 77 school systems in the state of Indiana that lost money — we are one of those.”

Next to Hacker was a board which showed the figures of the amount of the money in the general fund for last year, and the projected values for the following years. The money for the general fund is calculated by enrollment numbers.

In terms of enrollment, WRV has a 14 percent mobility rate.

“This means that 14 percent of our students will move between schools. When I started here there were 255 kids [in the Jr./Sr. high school] in the entire building. Right now it is 225.”

According to Hacker, last year WRV received $5,095,683.

“Under the next two budgets for 2016 and 2017, the state estimates take us down to $4,781,245 by 2017.”

Hacker said the insurance costs have raised 33 percent to the figure of $1,545,341. The total employment cost is $5,507,779. All of the money used to pay for these services is taken from the general fund.

“With our total employee cost alone, we are already starting out with big deficits. That is why we passed the referendum, a general fund operating referendum,” Hacker said.

According to Hacker, the employees salaries for the 2014-15 academic year were, at Lyons, $1,037,806; Worthington $1,475,757; WRV Jr./Sr. High School $2,618,161; and the central (administration) office $252,145.

“What I am really concerned about is this number right here (the total employment cost). This here represents a bare-bones teaching staff. We need to make sure we stay competitive and are able to offer our students the best programs we can. We have some awesome stuff going on, but if this is all that we are going to get (referring to the projected budgets) then I truly have to protect our general fund, which is why we passed the referendum.”

Hacker said the reason he is bringing this issue to the public’s attention is because WRV is not in the position to be able to throw money at everything. Instead they have to prioritize their finances.

“I have protect our general fund because at the end of seven years, when the [referendum funds] run out, employee and insurance costs are probably not going down.”

Hacker said that WRV better have a Rainy Day Fund to protect the school corporation, otherwise Hacker said the school corporation could operate for ten years tops.

“Now, I can tell you this because I know the situation of the districts around us. There is one district in the county that is really solid and their enrollment numbers are going up. Everyone else is going to be where we were before we passed the referendum. We have to make sure we put ourselves in a situation where we are strong and solvent and if someone closes, we bring them in, instead of us going to them.”

The referendum passed for WRV was not a building referendum, but a general fund referendum.

Hacker then discussed the other building assessments at WRV Lyons and Worthington Elementary.

“Now that we have been through three buildings and the [WRV Jr./Sr. High School] building is in good shape, the building at Worthington has been decently kept up and for some reason the building at Lyons has not been as good with the upkeep. We have to work and prioritize to make sure that everybody’s needs are met.”

After hearing the reports from all three buildings, Hacker and the board will develop a plan on which issues need to be addressed first with the school buildings.

“What we will do is when we construct the plan, I think it wise again to involve the community in a work session. The school board has the tough decision we have to make.”


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