COLUMBIA CITY — The Whitley County Consolidated School Board received a budget update at Monday night’s work session from Business Manager Tony Zickgraf. Whitley County Consolidated Schools has a budget of approximately $24,000,000 with approximately $21,000,000 of that coming from the State of Indiana noted Zickgraf. WCCS received approximately $5,424 per student from the state, down from a high of $5,781 in 2005. In providing more background, Zickgraf told the board that the corporation’s Average Daily Measurement of attendance was 3,393 down about 30 from 2002 but up about 10 students from the last count. Money from the state is based upon attendance figures. WCCS ranks 198th out of 357 school corporations in the state in funds returned.
Zickgraf also outlined the hit that the corporation will take due to the property tax circuit breaker enacted by the legislature. After the corporation sets its budget and tax rates, it finds out the loss due to the circuit breaker. For the coming year, WCCS will lose $98,648.07, with the bulk of that coming from losses in Columbia City and Union Township. Columbia City proper will cut $90, 159.13 while two sections of Union Township will cut $2,316.66 and $3631.13 respectively.
“We’re trying to live within our budget,” said Zickgraf. “We are getting new regulations and mandates for our transportation budget, but no new funding to deal with them. We are trying to control our fuel costs, but we are greatly concerned.”
At the end of April, Zickgraf reported that WCCS had an income of $21,823,000 and costs of $22,002,000.