Bloomington State Senator Democrat Vi Simpson spent part of Thursday night meeting with Monroe County Community School Corporation officials to discuss the status of the state’s school funding formula. The formula is used to calculate the total amount of funding allocated to each of Indiana’s school districts. Simpson says the meeting was called to provide background information to newly elected MCCSC board members Martha Street and Kelly Smith.
However, board members used the meeting as an opportunity to raise questions about the current budget projections and the political climate in Indianapolis.
MCCSC school board president Jim Meuhling says the board’s biggest concern is the instability involved in the funding formula.
“Both the House and Senate are controlled by individuals, by groups, that really have demonstrated they would like to see funding reduced and options increased,” said Meuhling.
While Simpson was generally evasive when it came to questions of political tension – using the term Republican only once during the entire meeting and never specifically mentioning Democrats, she did repeatedly say she was concerned about efforts to take both policy and fiscal control away from local school districts.
“There is a feeling of kind of big brother centralized government that we can do it better from Indianapolis or we can do it better from Washington D.C. which I think we’ve proven over and over again is not true,” said Simpson.
According to long term budget projections provided by the MCCSC, the district is anticipating a gradual increase in fixed operating costs and a zero percent increase in revenue.