Friday, February 28, 2014

Star Press Reports Muncie Could Face New Bus Referendum

From the Muncie Star Press:

Muncie Community Schools continues to struggle with ways to keep school buses running.

This week the school board discussed options that would pay for the buses after the district’s money runs out in 2015.

MCS stands to lose about 44 percent of its transportation fund (instead of 89 percent) if legislation passes within the next week or so that would put on hold the impact of protected taxes for three more years.

If that happens, it means a cut of $1,483,966 to the transportation fund. The revenue for that fund this year, MCS Chief Financial Officer Mark Burkhart has estimated, will be $2,172,503. The projected total costs for 2014 come in at $3,104,012.

Here’s how it breaks down: Under the current M&M Bus Co. contract, MCS is paying about $16,642.33 a day or $1,647,580 for January through June of this year.

Burkhart used the current bid rate and subtracted 12 daily routes (that can be eliminated with the closing of the Wilson Middle School building), estimating that the district will pay about $1,261,867 for August through December. He estimated in-house costs at $194,565.

That would still leave the district short about $931,000.

The district plans to use its rainy day fund of about $2 million to cover the projected shortfall this year and in 2015.

What the district will do after that money runs out is now up to the board.