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EACS projecting tax increase with budget

August 22, 2018

East Allen County Schools is banking on more students as it makes 2019 financial plans.

It’s also projecting a tax rate increase of about 3.9 cents, from about 93 cents to 97 cents per 26 a year increase for a $150,000 home, Kirby Stahly told the school board during a budget presentation Tuesday. He is East Allen’s chief financial officer.

The budget is set for approval Oct. 16 with a public hearing Sept. 18.

East Allen is advertising a 25.2 million tax levy.

Although the official student count isn’t until mid-September, East Allen has built a budget assuming an increase of 33 students, or 9,721. The increase likely will be even greater, Stahly said.

The Indiana Department of Education uses average daily membership counts to determine state funding for school corporations and charter schools.

The anticipated enrollment growth should account for an additional $1 million, or a nearly 2 percent increase from last year, Stahly said.

The 2019 capital projects plan includes improvements district-wide, such as painting, roofing repairs and flooring replacements. Specific projects include $400,000 in work related to the creation of an exit drive at Leo Junior-Senior High School to help ease congestion on Amstutz Road.

In other news, the board approved renewing a memorandum of understanding with ABC Construction Preparatory Academy. It lets students explore such trades as carpentry, electrical, plumbing, pipe-fitting, roofing and painting.

The district pays $750 per student, and ABC provides textbooks, all lab equipment and materials.

The program has 54 students, which is up from last year, said Deborah Watson, assistant superintendent of secondary education.

Also Tuesday, board Secretary Chris Baker said he was disappointed by the lack of progress at New Haven Intermediate School, which is under construction along Indiana 930 west of New Haven High School.

Delays there can lead to delays elsewhere in the district, including plans to offer vocational programming at the existing intermediate school on Woodmere Drive in the 2020-21 year.

“It’s not good,” Baker said.

asloboda@jg.net

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