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Brown County School District Must Cut Budget By $1 Million

The Brown County School District must cut $1 million from its budget because of declines in student population and state.

Superintendent Laura Hammack says the problems go hand-in-hand.

“This year, we were unfortunately down over 100 students so that fundamentally translates into the general fund dollars that are received, so we’re needing to make some cost containment measures to address those issues," Hammack says.

The district is on track to lose more than 300 students within the next decade. Hammack says the decline stems from a steady drop in birth rates and a decrease in the number of school-age children in the district.

Hammock says the general fund was already “overspent” by about $1.5 million. Over the next two years, she says the district expects $700,000 less in state funding.

Hammack presented several recommendations to the school board in order to cut expenses.

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“Something I was very committed to doing was making recommendations based on data," Hammack says.

The largest portion of savings could come from eliminating eight-and-a-half of the district’s 52-and-a-half unlicensed jobs, such as classroom assistants. This will save the district over $200,000.

Other recommendations include reassigning five certified preschool teachers and replacing them with staff from Ivy Tech or other two-year programs.

"We will likely have to make more recommendations as we go throughout the next year or two or three if this enrollment continues on this path," Hammack says.

The school board could consider the recommendation at their May 4 meeting.

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