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TODAY IS Thursday October 18th


Prairie Heights Running Out Of Money
Thursday Jun 07, 2018 11:39am
LaGrange, IN

By: Tim Murray


(BRUSHY PRAIRIE) - Fewer students and less funding from the state has left the Prairie Heights School District running out of money.

Superintendent Jeff Reed and Financial Consultant Brock Bowsher of Umbaugh and Associates outlined the district’s financial outlook Tuesday night which shows the district running in the red by over $11.8 million dollars by 2026.

The district is down about 100 students since 2011 and state support is down just over half-a-million dollars.

Reed says the district has cut staff from 98 in 2012 to 78 now and is understaffed.

It has cut spending where it can and cut utilities through HVAC and lighting upgrades. It is spending down its Rainy Day Fund for operational costs.

Proposed additional property tax levies through a voter referendum would impact the average home owner from $98 to $135 per year, and farm property from $3.37 to $4.62 per year per acre.

If a referendum passes, Reed says the district would address under staffing and wages. If it didn’t pass, Reed says there are no plans to consolidate with another district but Prairie Heights would look much different from what it does today.

The school board must decide by July if it will put a referendum on the ballot in November. Reed promised more community meetings on the question before then.
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