Supplemental property tax revenue bolsters Union Township budget
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent August 23, 2013 5:28PM
Updated: September 27, 2013 6:11AM
The Union Township School Corp. will have its first public hearing on a budget since passing a referendum in May to supplement the funding it receives from the state.
The school corporation hasn’t yet proposed a tax rate for the 2014 budget. Superintendent John Hunter said the district does not yet have its assessed valuation — the amount property in the district is worth.
The district advertised the 2014 general fund at $9.1 million, but state funding via sales tax is projected at $8.8 million, creating a deficit of $233,000.
Without the referendum money, the deficit would run $1.233 million, Hunter said.
However, he said, the budget process includes estimating expenses high and funding low because the state will cut expenses but not raise them.
Initial head counts for the start of school show 46.5 more students than expected, so the district should receive more than projected, Hunter said.
Kindergarten students are counted as half, although the district has a grant for all-day kindergarten classes.
The public can comment on the budget at the school board meeting at 7 p.m. Sept. 11 in the Wheeler High School and Middle School commons.
The district also will get two new scholarships this year for renewing the five-year beverage contract with Pepsi. The district will decide the criteria for the scholarships.
The school turns pop machines off during the day, and vending machines working from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. have only healthy choices.
This is the fourth consecutive five-year contract with Pepsi. Coca Cola didn’t respond with a bid.
The district also is revisiting its firearms policy to make sure it is in line with the new state law.
“It’s still a felony to carry a firearm onto school property,” Hunter said.
However, he wants to make sure the school policy and law match.
Officers of the law are allowed to have weapons on school grounds, Hunter said.