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School deficit drops $7,000

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Superintendent says it’ll rise, then continue to fall

By KEVIN KOELLING
Managing Editor

CANNELTON – A general-fund deficit he’s been working to reduce was cut by $7,000 as of November, Cannelton Schools Superintendent Alva Sibbitt reported at a Dec. 12 regular school-board meeting.

“It will go back up next month because our state support’s being cut,” however, he added, because state funding for vocational instruction was to be cut by approximately $13,000 this month. Only one student is enrolled, he explained, so that funding went from more than $14,000 to $1,050.

The reduction meant state funding would drop from the approximately $142,000 the corporation had been receiving each month to $129,000.

“The tax money we received this month was substantially lower that I had expected,” Sibbitt added, explaining the two cuts were preventing further reductions to the deficit.

“In January, it’ll start back down again, about $8,000 or $9,000 a month, then in February … it should go down $22,000.”

Loan arrangement
He was to meet with a representative of Hoosier Hills Credit Union the following day, Sibbitt also said, to discuss a $15,000 loan the school system has there.

He explained at the November board meeting he’d taken out a $20,000 loan upon his arrival to make payroll and was making $5,000 payments twice a year to repay it.

“We’re just going to pay the interest in December,” he explained this month. “Then I’m going to have him set up an amortization schedule for three years” that would spread payments over the year instead of the current much larger payments each June and December.

“I went through all of the claims that we owe the vendors, and the only ones that we are going to pay are the ones that we have to pay on a monthly basis that we have contracts with, like the specialed co-op, unemployment, payment  on the bus,” Sibbitt told the board. “The rest of them will have to wait until January.”

Public hearing
A public hearing concerning a $6,478 from the corporation’s 2013 referendum operating fund drew no comments.

“We probably don’t need it, but I’m going to go ahead and have you approve that anyway,” he said, explaining he needed to fax a resolution authorizing the appropriation to state officials by Dec. 15, which was the reason the board was meeting earlier in the month than normal.
The board voted to adopt the resolution.

Because the meeting was conducted a week early due to the Christmas holiday, an accounts-payable voucher was not available, the superintendent said. At his request, the board approved the payment of payroll and vendors as funds allow.

Year-end transfers
The board also voted to authorize transfers among the corporation’s general, capital-projects and transportation funds. Sibbitt noted such transfers are standard to tidy up books at the end of a year.

“You’re not spending any more money,” he said, explaining a computer program will move money from line items with surpluses to those needing additional funds.