At October's meeting, the Batesville school board approved the 2022-23 budget. The total budget for next school year totals $25 million across all funds, according to Tim Hunter, BCSC Director of Buildings, Grounds and Finance. Hunter wrote in an email that the budget is “slightly more than a 4% increase,” over the 2020-21 budget, adding “the majority of the funding will come from the state funding formula for the education fund, which benefits from an increased foundation amount of dollars/student for 2021-22, as well as a slight increase in enrollment of roughly 20 students versus the previous school year.”
The rainy day fund, specifically, shrank from $150,000 in 2021-22 to $50,000 in appropriations for 2022-23. For Hunter, the rainy day fund was affected by the pandemic, “Most years,” he wrote, “we do not need to spend money from the rainy day fund but this year the Board approved to pay stipends to staff for additional duties [due] to the pandemic from this fund.”
When asked about the football field and locker room upgrades at BHS, which a press release from the school corporation described as “tax neutral,” and how the district is able to fund this without affecting taxes, Hunter explained, “Several factors work together to allow us to fund these improvements without a need to raise the tax rate. The assessed value of property in our tax base has increased this year, so we can generate a slight increase in our debt service tax levy with the same tax rate. We have some debt service payments expiring, which allows new debt payments to be added while keeping [the] total of debt service payments similar – historically low interest rates help to keep these new debt payments low.”
In summary, “Our overall cash balance on hand has increased,” Hunter wrote, “looking out to the 2022-23 school year, the state will increase the foundation amount [per] student again and we anticipate continued growth in enrollment.”