The Culver Community Schools Corporation continues to struggle with its General Fund. Last week, Treasurer Casey Howard gave her 2016 year-end financial report to the school board.
Interim Superintendent Chuck Kitchell says declining enrollment continues to hurt the corporation’s budget. “With student population, with our kids leaving, every year it seems like we have fewer students,” he says. “We just need to get to a year where we don’t lose money for a while because we would be okay if we could just stop losing the money that we lose, so certainly challenges ahead from a budgetary perspective.”
Still, Kitchell feels the corporation’s finances are stable, at least for another year. “We’ve been able to save money and get some funds into Rainy Day,” he says. “So we feel good about that, knowing that we can pull from that Rainy Day Fund to keep things going for Culver for another year and see where the legislature is at the end of the session, to see how they’re changing the funding formula and some of the things that they’re looking at changing from a budgetary standpoint.” State lawmakers are considering a bill that would reestablish a small school grant, giving an extra $100 to $200 per student to corporations with 2,400 students or fewer.
At the same time, Kitchell says Culver Schools still has some money left from its bond refunding that can be used for various projects. “We’ve got some roofing work that we want to get done,” he explains. “We’ve got some concrete work we want to get done, things like that.”
However, none of that money can be used for the struggling General Fund, which is where staff salaries are budgeted.