Northeast Dubois Budget Beginning to Take Shape

As budget season rolls on, another local school district is taking steps towards next year’s budget.

Last night, the Northeast Dubois School Board held a public hearing on its 2014 budget. Last night’s hearing covered the Capital Projects and Bus Replacement funds. The remaining funds of the budget, including the school’s general fund, have to be approved by the Dubois County Council.There were no comments from the public on the budget.

NE Dubois Superintendent Bill Hochgesang says with the general fund of the corporation’s budget being controlled by the state and based on enrollment figures, things have been very tight for the corporation money-wise:

Hochgesang says the corporation is also struggling in light of otherchanges that the state has made concerning school funding. He says with the state attempting to have one foundation dollar amount for each school district, the Northeast Dubois Corporation has been getting less funding from the state per student each year. The budget is set to be formally adopted at the corporation’s October meeting.

Also last night, the board approved teacher contracts for next year. Hochgesang says many laws had changed in a year, leaving the corporation with a lot of work to be done. Hochgesang says he is appreciative of the concessions made by teachers during the process and says negotiations went smoothly over the course of the last year:

Finally last night, Hochgesang recommended and got approval from the board for setting the goal of maintaining current expenditure levels in student instructional and other areas for this upcoming fiscal year. Hochgesang and several board members were adamant at last night’s meeting about not wanting to cut extracurricular programs from the budget to keep things afloat financially amid concerns from a parent expressed at last night’s meeting about a 5 percent charge on fundraisers that was approved last month by the board. Hochgesang explained to the parent that the charge is designed to help generate revenue so that some costs can be offset, thus preventing cuts to extracurricular activities.

Other notes from last night’s meeting included an announcement that additional appropriations for the current fiscal year’s budget will be advertised for the Capital Projects and Rainy Day Funds among others in the near future. Parent teacher conferences for the Northeast Dubois School Corporation will be held October 17th and 22nd from 4 til 8 pm and 7th and 8th graders are set to embark on a trip to Washington DC from October 23rd through the 27th, in conjunction with the corporation’s October 24th through the 28th fall break.