Muncie Community Schools to consider asking state for financial help

Muncie Community Schools to consider asking state for financial help. (WISH Photo/Brittany Lewis)

MUNCIE, Ind. (WISH) — Muncie Community Schools could decide to reach out to the state for help dealing with a $15 million deficit. 

Leaders are proposing massive pay cuts to teachers. The district says it may also have to close schools to try to make up for that deficit. 

Tuesday night’s school board meeting will be the first time the board will be publicly discussing the option to reach out to the state for financial help, according to Board of School Trustees President Debbie Feick.

“The realities of this budget shortfall or budget catastrophe have really been difficult to navigate,” Feick said.

One way the district is considering navigating the problem is by reaching out to the state’s Distressed Unit Appeals Board or DUAB. If the board decides to go that route, members would submit a petition to the DUAB, who would in turn review the request, and could potentially give the district a loan from the state’s rainy day fund with permission from the Indiana State Board of Finance or look into the option of sending in an emergency manager, depending on what the district asks for.

“That would create a revenue source for us, maybe a low interest loan, some of those kinds of resources, then I think that we could probably be in favor,” Feick said, “If affiliating with them would mean that we would lose opportunities to make local decisions based on the people of our community and the desire of our community, we would probably vote against it because we don’t want to give that up.”

The board could vote on the option at their meeting Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. at the Muncie Area Career Center. They could also table it.

A rally for schools and teachers is scheduled for 4:45 p.m. before the meeting.

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