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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, September 11, 2019 9:07 am

Verbatim: FWCS Budget Declines Slightly in 2020

The following was released on Wednesday, September 11, 2019:

The Fort Wayne Community Schools Board of School Trustees on Monday, Sept. 9, reviewed the proposed 2020 budget, which projects a decrease of about 1 percent, or $3.4 million, in spending without making cuts to staff or programs. 

Some of the savings comes from state legislation reducing employer contributions to the Indiana Public Retirement System's Teacher Retirement Fund for one year. In addition, the average seniority of FWCS employees has decreased, resulting in savings in salary expenses. 

“With our total revenue increase from the state at less than 2 percent, we built a conservative budget that focuses on keeping dollars in the classroom,” Chief Financial Officer Kathy Friend said. 

In addition to classroom priorities, the $305 million plan includes the replacement of 29 school buses, continued technology improvements and ongoing capital project expenses. Education expenses account for 73 percent of the budget, and FWCS anticipates transferring just 7 percent of the state tuition support to operational expenses. Legislation approved earlier this year asks districts to transfer no more than 15 percent of education funds to operations. 

The budget will be available online Tuesday, Sept. 10, at https://gateway.ifionilne.org. A public hearing on the proposed 2020 budget will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23, in the Grile Administrative Center, 1200 S. Clinton St. Board members will vote on the plan at the Oct. 14 Board meeting.