Vigo County School Corporation releases proposed cuts and new revenues in new budget presentation

The Vigo County School Corporation has released its plan for cutting costs and adding new revenue to the budget, including school consolidations and program expansions.

Posted: Oct 21, 2019 7:10 PM
Updated: Oct 22, 2019 9:50 AM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) — The Vigo County School Corporation has released its proposed plan for saving and generating a total of $7 million over the course of the next three years. The plan is based on a series of cuts and closures, in addition to program expansions.

The corporation presented the information at Monday's school board meeting. The biggest changes listed include the closure of McLean School as an alternative education space, changes in administrative compensation, elementary school consolidation, the launch of the international residency program, and expansion of the virtual education program.

LINK | REFERENDUM IMPACT CALCULATOR

There are three phases spanning three years. We’ve listed the biggest proposed savings and new revenue below.

Year one is a change of $3,765,000, which includes eliminating McLean School as an alternative education building, reducing administrative costs by nearly half a million dollars, and expanding the virtual education program.

  • “Asset-based strategies”
    • Delaying the bus replacement time table by one year, saving $1.5 million
    • Reducing capital projects, saving $250,000 from 2019’s spending
  • “Personnel-based strategies”
    • Redesign of alternative education, which includes Booker T. Washington School and Terre Haute South hosting the alternative school programming, eliminating McLean School as an educational building, saving $250,000 in year one
    • A $20,000 reduction in the superintendent’s compensation package
    • Decreases in compensation for the deputy superintendent, executive directors, and curriculum coordinators
    • Eliminating four administrative positions
    • Other staff position eliminations through not replacing current positions
    • Creating an Energy Conservation Department to audit energy use in all buildings, the duty would be assigned to current district-level administrators
  • “Process-based strategies”
    • Paper usage, bus route efficiency, textbook accounting accuracy, budgeting for fuel and natural gas, procurement efforts, unidentified Pre-K changes, and energy consumption, for a total of $695,000
  • “Revenue enhancement”
    • Expansion of the virtual school program to all students in Vigo County, grades K through 12. School officials expect this to bring in $100,000 for year one
    • Allowing school facility renting, and marketing the option, to add $15,000 for year one

The plan recommends using McLean School as office space, a for-profit daycare, or “other use identified by the Board of School Trustees.”

The second phase is expected to save costs and bring in new revenue to the tune of combined $1,690,000.00. One of the biggest changes expected is the consolidation of 18 elementary schools into 16 elementary schools, which a new task force of teachers, staff, administrators, and Vigo County residents would oversee.

  • “Asset-based strategies”
    • Possibility of delaying the bus replacement plan again
    • The continued saving through the closure of McLean School
    • Consolidating 18 elementary schools into 16 elementary schools, saving $350,000 in this phase
    • Relocation of Central Office, using a re-designed school space for Central Office and the Special Education Office
  • “Revenue enhancement”
    • Launch of international residency program, creating $200,000 in the first year
    • Continued revenue through virtual school expansion
    • Continued facility rentals
    • Expansion of for-profit daycare

The second phase also includes more generalized savings through personnel and processes addressed in phase one, in addition to a decrease of $170,000 based in-part on the reduction of staff from eliminated elementary schools.

SEE THE FULL PRESENTATION HERE

The third phase is a change of $1,555,000, which sees another consolidation and a larger profit from the international residency program.

  • “Asset-based strategies”
    • Continued savings of $350,000 from previous elementary school consolidation
    • Consolidation of 16 elementary schools into 15 elementary schools
    • Relocation of Covered Bridge, saving $150,000 in utilities and operational costs
  • “Revenue enhancement”
    • International residency program, slated to add $400,000
    • Continued virtual school revenue by $100,000
    • Expansion of for-profit daycare

Phase three also involves similar cost-saving measures in personnel and processes as listed from previous phases.

This plan is in addition to the proposed school corporation tax increase, which Superintendent Rob Haworth says would bring in $7 million into the school corporation each year for eight years. The referendum is on the ballot for the upcoming November election, and all registered Vigo County voters can weigh in on the issue.

The proposed plan will come back in front of the school board at their next meeting.

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