VINCENNES, IND. (WTHI) - A southern Indiana school system takes an unusual step to fix a funding problem.
The Vincennes School system has decided to hire an Indianapolis firm to lobby the next session of the Indiana General Assembly on its behalf.
The school system is seeking an adjustment in the complicated school funding formula that could provide hundreds of thousands of dollars for its buildings and equipment in the future.
The Vincennes school system has some aging elementary schools that need regular maintenance and updating.
That work is normally covered under a capital projects fund.
School officials say Vincennes is losing a lot of potential revenue in that fund.
The problem is a complicated mix of changing assessments, tax caps and a funding formula that can only be fixed by an act of the legislature.
Assistant Superintendent Greg Parsley says the problem could affect the school system's ability to keep its buildings up for the next 7 years and that's why they've hired a lobbyist.
"We can't afford to take a $125,000 a year hit as we move forward," said Parsley, "and that is why we're working with Barnes and Thornburg."
Usually when there is a funding issue with schools it affects all of the schools in Indiana, but Vincennes officials say this time they are in a unique position and that is why they're going out and hiring their own lobbyist.
"We feel like we have a compelling issue to bring before the General Assembly," said Parsley.
The school system is spending $4,000 for the firm to convince lawmakers that the problem needs to corrected.
"If they can fix this, knowing we're losing $125,000, then we're money ahead if we can get that slight step fixed in the formula," said Parsley.
Money that could be very important to the future of the facilities in Vincennes.
Vincennes school officials say that because of the partisan fighting during the last 2 legislative sessions they hired a lobbyist that could make their case to both democrats and republicans.
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