Representatives of the Clay Community Classroom Teachers Association (CCCTA), Clay Community School Corporation administrative personnel, volunteer non-certified personnel, representatives from the school board and community members received information on the budget.
"At this point, we have no preconceived notions of cuts," Supt. Dan Schroeder said. "We have a cash balance. We are one of the lucky corporations that have not had to cut any positions, not only administrative or certified but non-certified."
Schroeder explained that a budget is an 18-month picture of where the corporation stands fiscally. It is completed for the last half of the current school year and the next calendar year, and a statement is then put together concerning the revenue and expenses.
For example, the administration worked on the 2010 budget during the summer of 2009, they had an estimate from the State of Indiana on the amount of money they would receive.
"The money varies from year to year and is based on enrollment, special education, vocational programs and academic honors, just to name a few," Schroeder said. "We were told in December that we would be cut 1.2 million dollars and we already had our budget together."
According to Schroeder, the corporation had a structural surplus and it was used to make of the deficit for the 2010 school year.
"A structural surplus is taking in more revenue than expenditures going out," he said. "Cash balance is how much cash you have on hand unspoken for at a given date."
Those in attendance were given information about the primary income sources as well as primary expenditures in the general fund, debt service fund, severance bond fund, capital projects fund, transportation fund and bus replacement fund. A copy of the 2010 Property Tax Report for Clay County was also available. The report included the levy comparison, tax rates, credit rates and net tax rates for homesteads by district and the circuit breaker cap credits.
A spreadsheet, which showed Clay County tax rates from 2006-10, showed a breakdown of the tax rate per the fund.
"We haven't raised taxes to increase the general fund," Schroeder said. "If you will notice, we did not have property taxes in 2010 funding the general fund. The state now pays for our general fund."
Schroeder referred to the tax rate for the debt service fund and how they have continued to go down even with the elementary building renovation project.
"It did not increase our debt service rate or our overall tax rate," he said. "In 2006, it was 45 cents, and in 2010 it was 38 cents."
Last year, meetings took place at each school. Teachers, parents and faculty brainstormed ideas they could take part in at the building level to save money that does not include cutting personnel. A handout was given to the cost cutting committee that had the ideas expressed by each school. The committee expressed interest in the ideas that were thought of by principals and those in the meetings.
Schroeder assigned homework to everyone in attendance. He asked them to go out into the community and discuss what should be done about potential cuts and which fund they should come out of.
"It's the new cuts that we need to be fearful of," Schroeder said. "I think we really need to look hard at what everyone has put together. However, in my opinion, we should spend down some of the cash balance because I don't think the public will understand keeping that cash balance so high and letting people go."