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Lanesville adopts school budget

Budget talks dominated the Oct. 15 meeting of the Lanesville Community School Corp. Board of Trustees at the Carl Uesseler Corporation Office.
The trustees had a hearing for and later adopted the 2014 Transportation Fund, the General Fund and the Debt Service Fund, but they also started discussion about a General Fund referendum that would be on next year’s Primary ballot.
Lanesville Supt. Steve Morris said no figures have been made and discussion is only beginning on the matter.
A public meeting on the subject will be Dec. 16.
‘It will be an informal meeting on why it’s needed,’ Morris said.
Two years ago, Indiana reduced $300 million from the amount schools throughout the state receive. Last year, a 2-percent increase was given across the board, but some schools, such as Lanesville, received little or no money.
Also, Morris said, the state changed the way schools were funded by giving money to corporations based on their enrollment (money goes with the student) and not how many students were in a given district.
In Lanesville’s case, a substantial number of students ‘ some 26 percent in the corporation ‘ come from outside of the corporation’s district, accounting for more than $500,000 for the district’s General Fund.
‘There’s no way to predict the number of students that will be in a district in any given year, especially when you have that type of percentage,’ Morris said.
If the referendum is passed in 2014, there’s a one-year waiting period before the taxes are actually collected, meaning the corporation wouldn’t see additional funding until 2016.
In another matter, board president and longtime board member Donnie Hussung announced that he would not seek re-election at the end of his current term.
In a prepared statement, Hussung said his intention is to continue to serve his community by announcing his intent to file as a candidate for District 2 of the Harrison County Council.
When his term ends, Hussung will have served 23 years on the board, beginning with his appointment to the interim board for one year, followed by an elected term of two years and five re-elections to four-year terms.
‘As a school, we’ve faced many challenges and overcome many obstacles: the threat of consolidation, the potential denial of our building permit, severe budget cuts from the state and a wholesale change in the way teachers are judged and evaluated, just to mention a few,’ Hussung said. ‘I hope I’ve contributed in some small way to the atmosphere and accomplishments attained at
Lanesville. I’m aware that Lanesville Community School Corp. is bigger than Donnie Hussung. I’ve tried to establish leadership that is driven first and foremost by what is best for all students, our staff and the taxpayer, in that order, and not what is or could be driven by a personal agenda, vendetta or public pressure.’
In the final line of his statement, Hussung said he’ll ‘always bleed purple.’
In another matter, the board granted a facility use request for the Knights of Columbus’ annual free-throw contest Jan. 19 in the high school gymnasium and approved the hiring of several athletic coaches: assistant softball coach Ashley Schoen, volunteer assistant softball coach Wendy Schoen, junior varsity softball coach Scott Cecil, junior varsity girls’ basketball coach John Smith, fifth-grade basketball coach Jon Wernert, volunteer high school cheerleading coach Pam Smith and elementary cheerleading coach Emily Lemmons.