(Originally posted September 1, 2017)
Why doesn’t MCS qualify for a loan through the Common School Fund?
The Common School Fund loan is dependent on the assessed valuation (AV) per pupil (ADM). Muncie Community Schools does not qualify because the AV per pupil does not fall within the lower 40% of all Indiana schools.
Is the district eligible for a loan from the DUAB?
Yes, this loan must be applied for by the school district and approved by the school board at the September 12 meeting. Even though the DUAB has determined MCS is a “financially impaired” district, there is no guarantee it will be granted.
How does a decline in enrollment affect the district financially?
The school district receives monies from the State for its General Fund on a per pupil basis. The official pupil (ADM) count day is September 15, 2017. A reduction of students from the previous year’s ADM count means less funding, so a significant loss of students will result in a significant loss of funds.
Is there any progress with the sale of buildings or real estate?
With the help of the Emergency Management Team, Dr. Baule and the school board will begin marketing potential properties for sale. No sale of any property can be made without the approval of the Emergency Management Team. According to the law, Ball State University has the first right of refusal for any MCS property, but all political subdivisions within the taxing area, as well as all institutions of higher learning must be made aware of the available property.
What is the purpose of the “Resolution for Contracted Bus Service”?
By approving the resolution, the district can then appeal to the State to use funds earmarked for the Bus Replacement Fund to help pay for some of the contracted bus service.
What has been the result of meetings with President Mearns of Ball State University, Mayor Dennis Still, Jay Julian CEO of Muncie-Delaware County Chamber of Commerce, and representatives of Prime Trust Credit Union?
Members of the AA Emergency Management Team report that each meeting was very productive and that all parties are supportive and willing to help in a variety of ways. At this point the details are not public, but AA is moving forward with results from those meetings
Can the Emergency Management Team recommend additional building closures and staff layoffs?
Not for this year, because employment contracts are set. However, they will be making recommendations for the future after reviewing every program in the district. Beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, MCS must live within its budget.
The Emergency Management Team, in a public meeting, recently reported progress to the Distressed Unit Appeals Board (DUAB). A similar report was shared by Steve Edwards, emergency manager, and Steve Wittenauer, Administrator Assistance co-owner, at recent MCS board meetings.
Highlights of those reports include:
- a plan with the Muncie Classroom Teachers Association (MCTA) for teachers to reimburse the district the costs of their premium increases negotiated for the previous two contract years
- marketing vacant buildings
- meetings with Dr. Geoffrey Means, Ball State University president, and Muncie mayor Dennis Tyler to discuss financial possibilities/opportunities
- beginning teacher contract negotiations October 3
- continuing efforts to restructure existing bonds
- cooperation of local banking institutions to review loan potential